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Latest cancer data for Islands is published

26 July 2017

The latest report in the series produced by Public Health England’s National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service on behalf of the Channel Islands is released today. The report considers both incidence and deaths from cancer in the Islands for the period 2010- 2014 and provides comparisons to rates for England and the South West region.

Overall main findings for Jersey

  • Around 1,000 cancers were registered in Jersey every year between 2010 and 2014, of which two-fifths (39 per cent) were for non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC)
  • After NMSC, the most commonly-registered cancers were breast cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer; these were also the most common causes of cancer death
  • The rate for all cancers in Jersey (excluding NMSC) was higher than the rate for the South West and the average for England
  • Incidence of all cancers (excluding NMSC) was significantly higher for males than females in Jersey
    The incidence rate for females has increased since 2001-2003, with around 70 more cancers diagnosed annually in the most recent period. Although an extra 90 more male cancers were diagnosed in 2012-2014 compared to 2001-2003 the rate for males is not significantly higher
  • The death rate for males from all cancers (excluding NMSC) was also significantly higher than the rate for females
  • The incidence rate for paediatric cancers (all cancers excluding NMSC in those aged 0-19 years) was found to be significantly higher in Jersey and Guernsey than in the South West and in England; the death rate was similar in all jurisdictions

Main findings for specific cancers in Jersey

  • The lung cancer incidence rate and death rate were found to be higher in Jersey, with around 77 new lung cancers diagnosed annually and around 53 deaths each year
  • The incidence and death rates for head and neck cancer were both significantly higher in Jersey than in the South West and the average for England and Guernsey. Around 31 new cases are diagnosed each year, while around nine people die annually
  • Kidney and ureter cancer incidence was lower in Jersey than both the South West and to England, and similar to Guernsey
  • Incidence rates were also higher for hepatobiliary cancers (including liver cancer) in Jersey than in the South West, Guernsey and when compared to the average for England; death rates for this cancer were significantly higher than for the South West and Guernsey, but similar to the average rate for England
  • Although higher incidence rates were also recorded for malignant melanoma, male urogenital cancers (excluding prostate), NMSC and prostate cancers, it is important to note that death rates from these cancers were found to be similar to the South West and the average for England
  • The death rate from colorectal cancer was significantly lower in Jersey than the South West and the average for England and was also significantly lower than the rate in Jersey in 2001-2003, while prostate cancer death rates in Jersey were lower than the rate in Guernsey but similar to past Jersey rates
  • For breast cancer, incidence rates were similar in Guernsey and Jersey, but Jersey reported a higher death rate than Guernsey for 2010-2014

What does this mean for Jersey?

Not all cancers are preventable, but some of the main risk factors include smoking, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption and UV exposure through sunlight or sun beds.

Where there is a high incidence but an average or low death rate, this indicates good levels of detection and treatment of cancers, while high death rates are often indicative of high incidence rates and/or cancers which have a poor prognosis (e.g. lung cancer).

Differences in non-gender specific cancers between males and females in the same jurisdiction are important to note, as these differences are unlikely to be caused by differences in the provision of health care in the area but rather due to behaviour and lifestyle risk factors.

Cancer is now the main cause of death in Jersey, having overtaken the number of deaths from cardiovascular diseases in recent years. This is likely to be a combination of better prevention, detection and treatment for heart diseases and an overall longer life expectancy. As our life expectancy increases and people age, their propensity for developing a cancer increases. Therefore, increases in the number of cancers are likely to reflect both the increase in the population size and the aging of the population over time.

Channel Islands Cancer report 2017

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