9 Feb 2010

Cancer risk expected to ease

12:07 pm on 9 February 2010

The Ministry of Health expects a smaller proportion of the population to get cancer in the coming decade.

A newly issued report says the incidence of cancer in females should decline by about 11%, while rates in males should stabilise.

The ministry says the risk of getting some cancers should decrease by more than 10% during the next decade.

National clinical director for cancer Dr John Childs says the risk of bowel cancer should also decrease by more than 10%.

However, the incidence of several cancers is projected to increase, including liver cancer and thyroid cancer in both sexes and lymphomas and prostate cancer in males.

He says it is not known why these cancers are becoming more common.

Although the risk of getting cancer should ease, Dr Childs says the total number of New Zealanders with cancer will increase because of the ageing and growing population.