Latvia's cancer death rate fifth-highest in European Union

Take note – story published 3 years ago

On World Cancer Day, February 4, Eurostat has published information showing that Latvia's rate of deaths from cancer is the fifth-highest in the European Union, based on data from 2016.

Across the European Union, there were 257 deaths from cancer per 100,000 in 2016. With 345 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, Hungary recorded the highest age-standardised death rate from cancer among the EU Member States. High death rates from cancer were also registered in Croatia (334), Slovakia (315), Slovenia (309), Poland (297) and Latvia (295), just ahead of Denmark (294) and Estonia (288).

Lithuania has the lowest cancer death rate in the Baltic states with 281 deaths per 100,000 per annum.

EU deaths by cancer (2016)
EU deaths by cancer (2016)

In contrast, low death rates from cancer were recorded in a number of Mediterranean and Nordic countries. The lowest rate was recorded in Cyprus with 194 deaths from cancer per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Finland (220), Malta (221), Sweden (229) and Spain (230).

Over the period from 2011 to 2016, the age-standardised death rate has fallen slowly but steadily, from 266 deaths from cancer per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011 to 257 in 2016.

World Cancer Day (4 February) aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer.

Almost 1.2 million people died from cancer in the European Union in 2016. Cancer was responsible for over one quarter (26%) of all deaths recorded in the EU.

Men (656,100 deaths due to cancer) were more affected than women (511,600). Cancer caused 29% of deaths of men and around 23% of deaths of women in 2016. Fatal cancers caused 288 900 deaths among people younger than 65 years in the EU, corresponding to 37% of all deaths in this age group, while less than one quarter (878,800 deaths, 23%) of all deaths among those aged 65 and above.

Lung cancer claimed 239,000 lives in the EU in 2016, accounting for one fifth (20%) of all deaths due to cancer. Colorectal cancer (139,700 deaths, 12% of all deaths due to cancer), breast cancer (85,300, 7%), pancreatic cancers (78,700, 7%) and prostate cancer (65,200, 6%) were also frequent causes of death.

Lung cancer was the main fatal cancer form for men, being responsible for one quarter (165,000 deaths, 25%) of all male deaths from cancer. This was far more than colorectal cancer (77,400, 12%) and prostate cancer (65,200, 10%). Breast cancer (84,300 deaths, 16% of all female deaths due to cancer), lung cancer (74,100, 14%) and colorectal cancer (62,300, 12%) caused the most cancer deaths among women in the EU in 2016.

Meanwhile LTV reported January 3 that at the Latvian Oncology Center, a woman underwent liposarcoma surgery, during which doctors managed to remove a tumor weighing 15 kilograms. The difficult and long operation was possible only because the tumor had not metastasized. The doctors were surprised not only by the size of the tumor, but also by the fact that the woman did not seek medical help for two years. She treated herself with herbal teas. 

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