A NEW All-Ireland Cancer atlas has shed light on what type of cancers that are most prominent in locations across the island of Ireland, and point towards Dundalk and North Louth as having higher levels of several different variants of the disease.
According to the map, there is a more significant risk of stomach cancer in North Louth. The rate of lung cancer also appears high in the Dundalk area, compared with the rest of country and barring black spots in Dublin and significant portions of the eastern seaboard.
The map however indicates that the rate of prostate cancer in Dundalk and the North Louth area is also significantly lower then in other regions of the North East.
Using cancer data for the years 1995 to 2007, the atlas shows some significant geographical variations in cancer risk.
Among the interesting data that the atlas throws up is the higher levels of non-melanoma skin cancers in coastal areas.
Incidences of stomach cancer in particulary appear to be particular prevalent in the North East region the country, including Louth, Monaghan, Cavan, Meath and Dublin.
Prostate cancer however seems to be relatively widespread across the country.
The atlas would appear to pose more question then it answers however, with many findings running contrary to popular belief. For example skin cancer which is strongly linked to exposure to sunshine is no more prevalent in the ‘sunny’ South East, and more prevalent in Kerry and near the Mourne Mountains.
Other cancers showed a relationship to employment or education: the risk of lung, stomach, cervical, head and neck cancer was higher in areas of high unemployment.