New report reveals above average cancer rates

COFFS Harbour has an above average rate of deaths caused by cancer, a new report has found.

The report, published by The Conversation, gives an insight into how different postcodes sit in comparison to the national average for cancer deaths and diagnoses.

The data comes from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and is based on the five year period leading up to 2013.

Around 554 per 100,000 people were diagnosed with cancer in Coffs Harbour, which is above the national average of 497.

The research also shows the mortality rate for Coffs Harbour sits at around 192 per 100,000 people.

The national average is around 172 per 100,000.

However, Cancer Council Victoria’s Dallas English told The Conversation a variety of factors, rather than location, determine whether someone develops or dies from cancer.

“Just because your area has a high cancer incidence or cancer mortality rate, it doesn’t imply you are living in a dangerous area.

“It’s not as though you live in a cancer cluster. These rates are more determined by the lifestyle and genetic factors of people who live there.

“If you look at lung cancer on this map, you are basically looking at a map of smoking prevalence around Australia. If you go to the top end – places like Tiwi, West Arnhem – it’s very high because of high smoking rates there.”

Overall, the research found that while the national cancer incidence rate has increased by just over a quarter since 1982, the mortality rate has gone down.