Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Cancer Report highlights need for greater focus on prevention

1 September, 2004

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson, Upper Bann MLA John O'Dowd has welcomed the publication of the all Ireland registry Report into Cancer and said that the report also highlights the need for a greater focus on prevention.

Mr O'Dowd:

"Sinn Féin welcome the All Ireland nature of the Registry Report which will allow health professionals and others to monitor and address not only the incidences of, but also the causes of cancer.

"Two statistics jump out from this report - the first is that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Ireland. The single biggest contributory factor of lung cancer is tobacco use, which again reinforces the need for the government to introduce a ban on smoking in the workplace and public places in the Six Counties as in the 26 Counties.

"Secondly the fact that the rate of cancer among men is 20% higher than that of women. Worse still, the mortality rate is 40% higher among men than women.

"This Report also makes it clear that lifestyle choices, such as smoking, poor unhealthy diet, excessive drinking and lack of exercise all play a part in increasing the risk of cancer in individuals. This is good news because it suggests that many cancers can be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices. The Emphasis should be on both governments and the departments of Health, Education and Finance to promote increased healthy living programmes with targeted resources for the less well off in our society because poverty and ill health are inter-related." ENDS

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