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Cancer cases double in 30 years, skin cancer still on the rise

THE NETHERLANDS. In total, 116,000 people in the Netherlands were diagnosed with cancer last year and the number of skin cancer cases has gone up sharply in the last few years, the Dutch cancer institute IKNL said on Monday.

The number of recorded cases has doubled since 1989 in absolute terms, when the institute started a national registration system. This, the IKNL says, is due to both population growth and the aging population.

‘Corrected for the increase in the average age, there was a rise in the number of people diagnosed with cancer between 1989 and 2011, but since then the figure has been stable,’ the institute said.

The exception to this is in cases of skin cancer and the number of cases continues to climb, the institute said. Sunbathing and the use of sunbeds coupled with aging are the most important causes of skin cancer, particularly exposure at least 30 years ago. ‘The increase is skin cancer is also partly due to greater awareness and people having odd skin patches looked at,’ the institute said.

Some 64% of people diagnosed with cancer are still alive after five years, although this varies strongly with the type of cancer. Prostate cancer remains the most common cancer for men and breast cancer for women. 

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