In 2012/13, there were 14,249 patients on the cancer register within the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group. At 2.6% of all registered patients, Somerset has one of the highest proportions of cancer prevalence in England. However, this is partly related to the relatively elderly population in the county.
The number of new cases registered in Somerset has increased from 2,861 in 2001 to 3,379 in 2011, reflecting the national trend.
Where the England rate for 2011 = 100, Somerset's indirectly standardised rate is 100.37. Within the county, the rates vary from 90.59 in South Somerset up to 109.11 in Sedgemoor. (Source: Health and Social Care Information Centre.)
Cancers cause more deaths in Somerset than any other condition type apart from circulatory diseases. In the five-year period of 2008-12, there were 7,584 deaths caused by cancers (28% of all deaths in Somerset).
Of these, the main causes of mortality were:-
Lung cancer 1,321
Colorectal cancer 907
Prostate cancer 611
Breast cancer 565
Pancreatic cancer 431
Oesophagus cancer 401
For detailed information about skin cancer, please click here.
Key facts for Somerset:
- More people develop skin cancer and die from it in Somerset than the England average.
- The number of new cases in Somerset has risen by almost 50 % in the past ten years
- The incidence of malignant melanoma for all ages in Somerset is significantly higher than the England average with 574 cases diagnosed between 2011 and 2013, a rate of 34.0 cases per 100,000 population against an England average of 23.3 cases per 100,000 population.
Source: National Cancer intelligence Network - Skin Cancer Hub
Cancer Survival rates
Survival rates in Somerset for common types of cancer, such as breast, lung and lower gastrointestinal, are worse than the national average, although in general better than the South West average. Late diagnosis remains a major cause of low survival rates and a key focus is on improvements in screening and early diagnosis.
Coverage for breast screening remains high. In 2012/13 80% of women eligible had received a screen within the previous three years. Coverage for cervical cancer screening in Somerset for 2012/13 is also 80% and bowel screening invitation take up was 64%.
Having the HPV vaccine reduces the risk of getting cervical cancer by over 70%. Uptake of HPV vaccination in Somerset is increasing – in 2013/14 academic year, the proportion of eligible girls (12-13 year-olds) receiving all three doses of the vaccination rose from 91% to 92.5%, above the England average of 86.7%. In Somerset in 2012/13 waiting times for initial tests and subsequent treatment for cancer were similar to the England average.
See also Sexual Health
Amongst children and young people
Cancer incidence amongst people aged 0-19
During the five-year period 2006-10 there was an average of 27.2 new cancer cases per year in Somerset. This is a standardised rate of 16.2 per 100,000, slightly but not significantly above the national rate of 15.0 per 100,000.
There did not appear to be a significant gender difference with the male:female ratio of new cases being 1 : 0.95
The top two cancer groups were 10.2 new cases a year of Lymphoid, haematopoietic and related tissue cancer and 5.4 new cases of cancer related to the brain and other parts of the central nervous system.
During the period 2007-11 there was an average of 3.8 cancer deaths per year in Somerset. This is a standardised rate of 2.2 per 100,000, marginally but not significantly below the national rate of 2.5 per 100,000.
The top 2 cancer groups were 1.4 deaths a year from cancer of the Brain and other parts of Central Nervous System and 1.0 from Lymphoid, haematopoietic and related tissue cancer.
Source: National Cancer Intelligence Service website
Cancer survival rates amongst children
The proportion of children (aged 0-14 years) diagnosed with cancer in England between 1990 and 2006 surviving five years has increased significantly since 1990 from 67% to 81%.
Increases in survival over this period have been slightly larger in those aged 5–9 years at diagnosis than in those aged 0–4 years or 10–14 years. Five-year survival has consistently been above 80% for all childhood cancers combined since those diagnosed in 2004.
Source: Office for National Statistics (released December 2013)