Cancer diagnosis is ‘more common than marriage’ in Scotland

There were 31,467 cancers diagnosed in Scotland in 2015

A cancer diagnosis is one of the most common life-changing events in Scottish life, with more cases than marriages or first births, the latest figures show.

Macmillan Cancer Support said there were 31,467 cancers diagnosed in 2015 compared with 29,691 marriages and 23,695 first births.

BBC reports that cancer was also named as the disease people in Scotland most feared, ahead of conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

The research is part of a campaign to remove the fear of a cancer diagnosis.

The figures showed that – excluding non-melanoma skin cancer – there were just over 1,700 more new cases of cancer each year in Scotland than new marriages or 8,000 more cases than women having a child for the first time.

The number of people with cancer in Scotland has risen by 18% in five years, according to Macmillan.

Across the UK, Cancer Research UK says there has been a 12% rise since the 1990s, with rates among woman up by 16% and 4% for men.

Macmillan said as well as trying to remove the fear of a cancer diagnosis, its Life With Cancer campaign aimed to highlight the support available to people with the disease.

‘Fact of life’

Of the Scots asked, 41% said they feared getting cancer over any other disease, while one in eight said cancer was scarier than terrorism or losing a loved one.

Trisha Hatt, Macmillan’s partnership manager in Scotland, said: “This research highlights that for many people, cancer will be a fact of life.

“Survival rates from the illness are increasing, and even those with incurable cancer often live for many years.

“This report is about highlighting what life with cancer really looks like for a lot of people – looking after their children, seeing friends and even going to work.

“Most people say they want to keep life as normal as possible after treatment. That’s why it’s vital they get the support they need to deal with the emotional, practical and financial problems cancer can cause.”

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