Cancer rates tipped to rise 75% over next two decades

CANCER rates worldwide are predicted to rise by 75% over the next two decades, according to a report released on Tuesday to coincide with World Cancer Day.

The World Cancer Report shows that cancer has become the number one cause of deaths worldwide, claiming 8.2 million lives each year.

Australia is third in the world for cancer incident rates behind Denmark and France.

"Unfortunately, cancer is a disease that is more likely to affect us later in life, so the longer Australians live, the more cancer cases we will see," Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Katie Clift said.

"We need to act as a global community and do what we know works to reduce the cancer burden - promoting a healthy lifestyle, evidence-based screening programs, and access to life-saving medicine."

However, with all the various fundraising and awareness campaigns that aim to reduce the impact on cancer sufferers, emotional stress placed on sufferers and their families is a key aspect that is often over looked.

Distress, anxiety and fear are some of the emotions brought on by a cancer diagnosis, with one third of all Queensland cancer patients experiencing significant clinical distress.

Although Cancer Council Queensland offers a range of support services to help sufferers and their families, Ms Clift said only a few seek support, which can have serious consequences on a patients' prospects of long-term survival and quality of life.

Patients and their families can access support and advice by contacting the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20 from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

Referrals for a free state-wide counselling service can also be made by contacting the helpline, visiting, or by contacting Gladstone's nearest support centre in Rockhampton, on 4932 8600.

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