Gladstone revealed as hotspot for women's cancer

THERE are 8% more women in Gladstone suffering from a female-specific cancer compared to the state average.

An atlas released this week to coincide with Pink Ribbon Day highlights disparities between Queensland regions in female cancer diagnoses including breast, cervical, ovarian and uterine.

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But the statistics show the number of women diagnosed with female-specific cancers in surrounding areas, including Mt Larcom, Rosedale and Miriam Vale, is similar to the Queensland average.

Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Katie Clift couldn't explain why Gladstone's diagnosis rates were higher than surrounding areas.

She listed several possible reasons, from women moving to different areas to it being "pure chance".


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She said access to screening and diagnostic services and environmental risk factors could have contributed to the statistics.

"Up to a third of all cancers are preventable," Ms Clift said. "It could be about people not taking necessary (steps) in their lifestyles."

The atlas showed women with cancer living in Gladstone had a similar survival rate to the state average.

About 84% of Queensland women diagnosed with a women's cancer will survive for at least five years.

Figures also show 160 women in every 100,000 are diagnosed with women's cancer in Queensland.

Ms Clift said the startling statistics showed women in regional and remote areas were 42% more likely to die within five years of being diagnosed than those who lived in urban areas.

It compares to the heart of Brisbane's CBD, where the number of women at risk of dying within five years is 14% lower than the state average.

Ms Clift said the fact there was not one reason to explain why regional and remote areas were worse off proved more research was needed.

"It's really up for discussion. These are the risks and how can we reduce these risks moving forward?"

It also came down to the difference in cancers.

In Queensland, figures show while the number of women suffering from breast cancer is high, survival rate is better than cervical, ovarian and uterine cancers.


Top 10 cancers affecting women in central Queensland

  • Breast: 139
  • Colorectal: 56
  • Melanoma: 51
  • Lung: 41
  • Uterine: 17
  • Kidney: 15
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma: 14
  • Ovarian: 12
  • Thyroid: 12
  • Pancreatic: 11

- Source: Cancer Council. Figures are five-year averages from 2007-2011

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