Monday, February 9, 2009


Twenty five per cent of the Spanish population will contract cancer in their lifetime. This startling statistic was given in a report produced by the Sociedad Española de Oncología Médica (SEOM). The disease will hit one in three men and one in four women.

Currently the report says that 1.5 million Spaniards have cancer or have had it. Last year doctors detected 219,000 cases, almost 20,000 more than two years previous.

The president of SEOM, Ramón Colomer, stated: “Each time there are more cases of cancer in Spain, but each time the detection is made earlier and the number of people who survive has increased.”

The survival rate for men in the 1990s was 44 per cent but that has now increased to 49.50 per cent. Women have a higher survival rate jumping from 56.4 to 59 per cent.

In 2006 a total of 98,046 people died of cancer with colon and lung cancer accounting for the most deaths. Emilio Alba, who is the vice president of SEOM and a leading cancer specialist based at Málaga’s university hospital, says that 60 per cent of all tumours can be avoided. “If people do not smoke they can avoid one in three tumours and if they are overweight they increase the risk by 20 per cent.

Of the over 200,000 new cases of cancer detected each year – “the four horsemen of the Apocalypse” says Alba are colon cancer with over 24,000 new cases followed by breast cancer (21,300), lung cancer (21,100) and prostate (over 19,700).

Men account for the largest number of new cases with 57 per cent. These run in the order of prostate, then lung cancer, bladder and colon. Alba added that for women the majority of cancer cases were related to the breasts hence the importance of diagnostic mammograms. There are also a large numbers of tumours related to gynaecological regions such as the uterus, ovaries, Fallopian tubes and cervix.

Of course these statistics are for Spain as a whole. Those of us who live in the Campo de Gibraltar, wider Cádiz along with the provinces of Sevilla and Huelva know

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Unfortunately as you say those who live in the Campo de Gibraltar - and probably Gibraltar aswell - suffer far high from this dreadful disease than the norm. Thanks for having the Verdemar clip on your blog.