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EU adds 300,000 cancer cases in past two years

The number of cancer cases discovered in Europe has risen by 300,000 in the past two years, according to a new report.

In 2006 there were 3.2 million new cases of cancer in Europe, compared to 2.9 million in 2004, researchers said yesterday the journal Annals of Oncology. The rise may be linked to smoking, an aging population and better tests that catch the illness earlier, doctors said. Lung cancer remains the biggest killer, linked to about 334,800 deaths in 2006. Colorectal cancer was responsible for another 207,400 deaths, while breast cancer killed 131,900 people. Stomach cancer was involved with 118,200 deaths.

„The overwhelming majority of lung cancer is caused by tobacco smoking,” Peter Boyle, head of the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon France, who led the study, said in an e-mailed statement. „Tobacco control is clearly a number one priority in Europe, not only aimed at men, particularly the male populations of Central and Eastern Europe, but increasingly targeted towards women, especially in Northern Europe.” According to the British Heart Foundation, 63% of men smoke in the Russian Federation, compared with 16% in Sweden. (Bloomberg)