Every fourth death from cancer

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Every fourth cause of death from cancer

The malignant cancer tumor ranks fourth among the most common causes of death in Germany. People who get cancer usually die 6.7 years earlier than others. This was announced by the Federal Static Office in Wiesbaden today.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, cancer shortens a patient's life expectancy compared to the average population by around 6 years and 7 months. According to the data collection, cancer patients die on average at 73.6 years of age. That is about 6.7 years earlier than the overall average of the population. Over a quarter million people (216,128, 2009) died of cancer. The gender distribution of the deaths was almost evenly balanced. 116,711 men and 99,417 women died. In total, 854,544 people died in 2009. That is 1.2 percent more than in 2008. The most common causes of death were due to cardiovascular diseases such as a heart attack.

The most common cause of death was lung cancer
Significant changes are not observed, said Silvia Schelo from the statistical office. The numbers have neither risen nor fallen noticeably. There have been no noticeable changes for years. The most common cancers resulting in death were lung cancer or bronchial cancer. Both of these diseases are among the most commonly diagnosed cancers. Almost 43,000 people died of bronchial or lung cancer in 2009. At a ratio of 1:10, smoking is still the main cause of lung cancer. Older people in particular die of cancer. Only a quarter of all deceased were younger than 65. Cancer was the leading cause of death in the middle age group between 45 and 65 years of age. About 41 percent of the deaths were due to cancer.

Small gender differences
Smaller differences between the sexes were observed in the types of cancer. In men, malignant neoplasm of the lungs and bronchi was the main cause of their death in 29 133 cases (7.2% of all deaths), followed by cancer of the prostate in 12 217 cases (3.0%). In women, the most common cause of cancer death was breast cancer with 17 066 cases (3.8%), the second most common was lung and bronchial cancer with 13 088 cases (2.9%).

Around 1.5 million inpatient cancer therapies
In 2009, almost 1.5 million people were treated for cancer in Germany. The proportion of men predominated slightly with a total of 6,813,728 patients. In contrast, a total of 682,361 patients had to seek medical treatment. 39.3% of cancer patients were between 25 and 65 years old. The most common cancer diagnosis in women was breast cancer, in men lung cancer. (sb)

Picture: Günter Havlena / pixelio.de

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