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Death toll from womb cancer has trebled since 1993

By Claire Weir

Womb cancer is on the rise in Northern Ireland with deaths from the disease trebling in just 14 years.

Figures released by Cancer Research UK show that Northern Ireland is following the trend for the rest of the UK, where levels are at their highest for three decades.

In 1993, when records on womb cancer first started to be collated for Northern Ireland, there were 89 cases diagnosed here.

That figure rose to 201 in 2007.

There were six deaths attributed to the disease in 1993, rising to 18 in 2007.

The number of women diagnosed with womb cancer across the UK is at its highest for over 30 years, with more than 7,530 women developing the condition each year in the UK. Womb cancer is the fourth most common cancer for women in the UK and in 2008, 1,741 women died from the disease. In the last 10 years, of the top 10 most common cancers in women, incidence rates for womb cancer have risen the second fastest, after malignant melanoma skin cancer.

Experts believe the reasons for the continuing rise in womb cancer include more women being overweight or obese and women having fewer or no children.

In 1975, 13 in every 100,000 women were diagnosed with womb cancer.

But over 30 years later, the rates have risen to more than 19 women in every 100,000 being diagnosed with the disease.

Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK’s director of health information, said: “These figures show that we’re still seeing a year on year rise in the number of women diagnosed with womb cancer and more needs to be done to tackle this.”

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