Dáil Éireann - Volume 435 - 16 November, 1993

Written Answers. - Cancer-related Deaths.

38. Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the apparent increase in the incidence of cancer-related deaths in County Kerry; if this is the case the action, if any, he proposes to take to examine the causes of this; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Health (Mr. Howlin): Information on mortality by cause is published in the Annual Reports on Vital Statistics. The most recent figures relate to 1992 and while these are provisional, they show 314 deaths due to malignant neoplasms in County Kerry compared to 281 the previous year and 259 in 1990. Between 1986 and 1991 the number of deaths fluctuated between 258 and 281.

There has been a gradual increase in the death rate from cancer both in Kerry and nationally over the last decade. This trend is in line with the experience of other developed countries. The national death rate has risen from 1.84 per thousand in 1983 to 2.03 per thousand in 1990 (the last year for which final figures are available). The standardised Kerry death rate has risen from 1.59 to 1.71 per thousand in the same period with a high of 1.82 per thousand in 1987.

The National Cancer Registry Board is at present engaged in a detailed regional [1522] analysis of the incidence of cancer in the Cork and Kerry area. It hopes to have this analysis completed by the end of this year.