Cancer so many people in germany live with a disease

Cancer: This is how many people in Germany live with the disease

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Almost every German has probably come into contact with cancer, either directly or indirectly, at some point in his or her life. Which type of cancer is the most common? How often the disease is fatal? The stern has taken a look at the numbers.

A doctor points to the X-ray image of a patient suffering from lung cancer. The stern looked at statistics on cancer. Click through the photo gallery.

About one in 20. Germans have already received a cancer diagnosis once in their lives. And almost every German has already come into contact with the disease indirectly – as a relative, friend or colleague. No wonder, because the number of new cases is steadily increasing.

The World Health Organization now warns on the occasion of World Cancer Day of a drastic increase in cancer worldwide. In its report, the WHO estimates that the number of cases will increase by 60 percent by 2040.

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And in Germany, too, the figures are alarming: around half a million people are diagnosed with cancer here every year. The absolute number of cancer cases has almost doubled since the 1970s, writes the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in its 2016 report on cancer incidence. The curve has also been pointing upward for years in relation to population size. In the 2016 cancer report, researchers explain this, among other things, by the demographic development in Germany: society is getting older and older, and life expectancy is also continuing to rise. And as before, the disease tends to affect older people. The median age at a cancer diagnosis for both men and women was recently just under 70 years old.

Cancer mortality has been declining for years

For men, prostate cancer was the most commonly diagnosed cancer, followed by lung cancer. In women, the most common tumors detected were in the mammary gland; the second most common diagnosis was colorectal cancer.

Despite all the worrying figures, there is also a glimmer of hope: cancer mortality has continued to fall in Germany in recent years. Improved early detection measures and therapies play a major role in this process.

The greatest cancer risks – and how to avoid them

cancer this is how many people in germany live with the disease

Risk factor smoking
Around 19 percent of all preventable cancer cases are due to cigarettes. Smoking is considered the most important preventable risk factor in the development of cancer. Passive smoking also poses a risk. Smokers are more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers. Around nine out of ten men with lung cancer probably got the disease through smoking. Among women, six out of ten are affected. In addition, there are correlations with many other types of cancer, such as cancer of the oral cavity, esophagus or larynx. This is how you lower your risk:
Stop smoking. Quitting smoking is worthwhile at any age. The following applies: The earlier in life it is dispensed with, the greater the positive effect. Ten years after the last cigarette, the risk of certain cancers, such as cancer of the mouth, airways and esophagus, decreases. The risk of developing lung cancer drops by half compared to people who continued to smoke.

According to the RKI, one in four deaths in 2013 was cancer-related, about 223.000 people died from the disease in Germany that year. Lung cancer was responsible for most deaths in men, breast cancer in women.

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