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Cancer killing 30 people every day in Australian state: report

MELBOURNE, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Cancer is killing 30 Victorians every day, a new report has said.

The Cancer Council of Australia's snapshot of Victoria, released on Monday, said that despite increasing rates of survival for all types of cancer the disease was still one of the most common causes of death in the state.

The report found for the first time that the further distance away from Melbourne the higher the incidence of colorectal cancer.

Colorectal, or bowel, cancer was the second biggest killing cancer in Australia in 2015, behind only lung cancer, despite the disease having a 97-percent survival rate if detected early.

However, if it is not diagnosed until the cancer has spread throughout the body then the survival rate drops to 15 percent.

Helen Farrugia, director of the Victorian Cancer Registry, said it was unknown why there was a higher rate of bowel cancer in regional areas.

"We don't know why these people are getting cancer at a higher rate, we don't know about their physical activity levels, obesity, diet and other lifestyle factors that can contribute to developing bowel cancer, or whether they are participating in screening," Farrugia said.

The report found that the most recent five-year survival rate for all types of cancer was 67 percent, up significantly from the 47 percent recorded three decades ago.

Despite the growing survival rate almost 11,000 Victorians lost their lives to cancer in 2015, including 2,500 people of a working age that accounted for 22,000 years of lost earnings.

"This highlights the economic and social burden that cancer can place on families: children without fathers or mothers earning a wage, or grandparents unable to pass on wisdom and share the raising of children," Farrugia told News Limited on Monday.

The snapshot found that obesity remains one of the biggest cancer risk factors, being responsible for almost five per cent of cancers in Victoria.

"Out of all the new cases of cancers last year, more than 1,000 were obesity-related, which can be prevented through changes in lifestyle," Farrugia said.


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