Cancer cases stable in 2013

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The number of cancer diagnosis in the Netherlands in 2013 (101,500) remained almost the same as the year before (100,800), according to a preliminary estimate of the Integral Cancer Center Netherlands (IKNL), based on data from the Dutch Cancer Registration (NKR). Although the number of new cancer occurrences almost doubled over the past 25 years, the chance of getting cancer has actually decreased, because of the population growth.

However, the IKNL expects the number of new cancer patients to keep growing, based on the increase over the past decades, and because of the increase of ageing population. Life expectancy has increased, but so has the chance of getting cancer. IKNL statistics show that there are more men than women with cancer, and that breast cancer is most common, followed by skin cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer. The mortality rate draws a slightly different picture. Numbers of Statistics Netherlands (CBS) show an increase in the mortality rate due to cancer with 1.3 percent to 43,741 in 2012, compared to 2011. However, if these numbers are corrected, taking into account the population growth and ageing, they will show a relative decrease of the mortality rate due to cancer, especially for men. About half the cancer patient nowadays survive cancer, due to earlier detection, better treatment options, and a lower frequency of cancer types with a lower survival rate. Chances of survival strongly depend of the type of cancer and the stage at the time of discovery, according to IKNL. IKNL and NKR will publish their full 2013 report mid February.