An updated report on cancer in the Channel Islands has been released today. The Channel Island Cancer Report 2013 looks at the annual incidence of, and mortality from, cancers in the adult population (aged 20+) of Jersey and Guernsey up to 2011.
This is the first time that national data has been available, allowing comparisons to be made with the England average and the highest and lowest regions of England, as well as the South West region.
The report shows that the cancers that contribute the most to Jersey’s higher overall incidence rate are largely preventable cancers. This reflects the previous findings of the ‘Cancer in Jersey 2013’ report, showing that the higher incidence of certain cancers among the Jersey population was readily explained by the main risk factors associated with those cancers.
- Overall cancer incidence rates are similar to the SW region, but higher than the England average; however the overall five-year survival rates for both men and women are higher than those in England
- The cancers that contribute the most to the overall higher incidence rate are largely preventable cancers, namely lung cancer, malignant melanoma and head & neck cancers
- With relatively small numbers, it is difficult determine a robust trend in overall cancer incidence but it appears this figure is slowly rising
- An average of 488 people a year in Jersey are diagnosed with cancer (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer)
- The top five cancers diagnosed annually (non-melanoma skin cancer, breast, prostate, colorectal and lung) are the same in Jersey, Guernsey, England and the SW region
- Cancer incidence rates are higher in Jersey for non-melanoma skin cancer, malignant melanoma, lung cancer, prostate cancer, head & neck cancer and leukaemia
- Cancer incidence rates are lower in Jersey for kidney, uterine and ovarian cancers
- Overall cancer death rates in Jersey are similar to the areas of comparison
- Deaths from all cancers among Jersey’s adult population have been increasing, but now appear to have levelled off
- Death rates for lung cancer are higher than either the SW region or England; it is responsible for around 50 adult cancer deaths each year. Lung cancer is a particular area of concern, as the incidence rate and number of new cases annually are also higher than the areas of comparison
- Although the death rates for head & neck cancer, kidney cancer, hepatobilary cancer and malignant melanoma are also higher than either the SW region or England average, the number of deaths involved are very small, especially for malignant melanoma
- Cancer deaths account for around 30% of all deaths in the local population
The number of cancers diagnosed (incidence) in Jersey gives an indication of the impact on the health service of diagnosing and treating these cancers.
Cancer death rates indicate areas where there may be potential to reduce or prevent such deaths, particularly if numbers are high and there are a lot of premature deaths.
Dr Susan Turnbull, Director of Public Health Jersey said:
“This report reinforces previous findings that Jersey’s high-incidence cancers, which shorten some Islanders’ lives, are largely preventable. Everyone has the option to make healthier lifestyle choices that will reduce their risk of developing these preventable cancers.”
Luke Hounsome, Principle Cancer Intelligence Analyst for Public Health Knowledge and Intelligence Team, South West (author of the report) commented:
“It is clear from this report, and previous reports, that the burden of cancer in Jersey could be greatly reduced by people not smoking, consuming alcohol in moderation, and ensuring they protect their skin from the sun.”
Jill Birbeck, Head of Health Intelligence commented:
“This is a very useful report that indicates areas where cancer has a big impact on our population, such as lung cancer and skin cancer, as well as other types we will need to monitor more closely, for example kidney and liver cancers.”