One of the world’s leading health agencies has warned that cancer numbers in Ireland could rise by a massive 72 percent in the next 20 years.
The warning comes on the back of a report that rates Ireland as the European Union member country with the most projected cancer cases between now and 2030.
New cases of cancer in Ireland are predicted to rise from 19,454 in 2008 to 33,416 in the next 18 years in a league table compiled by the World Cancer Research Fund.
Cyprus is second to Ireland but a distant second with a 55 percent rise while Luxembourg is third with a predicted 53 percent increase.
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The World Cancer Research Fund refused to speculate on a cause for the huge increase in Ireland.
WCRF spokesman Andy Wilks said: “You would have to look at the factors relating to the causes behind cancer, things like smoking, diet, body weight, obesity is becoming a bigger issue.
“Other factors are involved such as a growing population and “a high portion of an age group in which cancer is prevalent.”
The World Cancer Research Fund research shows that Ireland can expect a 91 percent hike in cancer cases among the over-65s, compared with 48 percent among the same age group in the UK.