The Integrated Cancer Centre of the Netherlands (IKNL) has announced that the Netherlands is amongst countries with the highest rates of cancer in the European Union. Experts believe it may have something to do with the country’s early movement towards female emancipation.
The exact cause of the higher cancer rate is not certain, but recent studies suggest it might be related to female emancipation movement and smoking.
Female emancipation and lung cancer
The reason for this thinking is found in the high number of lung cancer sufferers in the Netherlands. The IKNL believes this may be due to the fact that there are more female smokers in the Netherlands.
The reason more women smoke in the Netherlands is believed to be due to the female emancipation movement of the 1970s. It occurred earlier in the Netherlands than it did in other EU countries.
The Netherlands also suffers from high rates of colon cancer, breast cancer and skin cancer. While it is uncertain what causes the higher rate of colon and breast cancer, it is suspected that the cause for high rates of skin cancer is due to the fact that many Dutch people are quite pale.
Coronavirus and cancer
According to figures given by the IKNL, 117,631 people were diagnosed with cancer in 2019. However, the IKNL has reported that fewer diagnoses have been made in 2020. The institution believes this is due to fewer people going to their GPs during the corona pandemic. In May, the institution reported that a quarter fewer cases of cancer had been reported in previous weeks.
Relatively low mortality rates
There are only two other countries in the EU that have comparable rates of cancer, Ireland and Denmark. However, while the Netherlands has one of the highest rates of mortality, the number of mortalities relative to the number of cancer cases is low.
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