South Tyrone has the highest rate of prostate cancer in the North

Blue ribbon to raise prostate cancer awareness
Blue ribbon to raise prostate cancer awareness

South Tyrone has the highest number of prostate cancer cases in the North, according to the latest Health Department figures.

The cancer statistics, which were released at the Northern Ireland Assembly, show a dramatic variation in the incidence across Northern Ireland, which has a higher rate of the cancer than the UK average.

South Tyrone and Fermanagh were recorded as having 193 cases per 100,000. Foyle had the lowest prostate cancer rate at 131 cases, while North Antrim had the next highest rate at 189.

West Tyrone’s rate was just below the regional average at 167 cases.

A cancer expert warned: “Places do not get cancer, people do. The reason areas have high rates of cancer is that people in them are exposed to the relative risk factors for those cancers.”

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, accounting for 25% of all new cases of cancer in males.

In 1990, both lung and bowel cancers were more common in males than prostate cancer, but by 1998 prostate cancer was the most common cancer in UK males.

Prostate cancer incidence is strongly related to age, with the highest incidence rates being in older men.