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Cancer (Statistics)

Volume 155: debated on Wednesday 21 June 1922

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35.

asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to the recent correspondence in the "Times" on the subject of the probable causes of cancer; and whether, in view of the need which exists for more precise information as to the extent of the increase in the death rate from that disease in the various countries of the world, he will obtain and publish the fullest possible statistics as to the death rates from year to year in every country where such records are available?

My attention has been called to this correspondence. While fully aware of the importance of investigating the causes of cancer by all possible means, I am unable to undertake that the subject should be pursued in the manner proposed in the question, as there are insuperable difficulties in drawing accurate inferences from comparison of recorded cancer deaths rates in the different countries of the world. The question of international study of cancer prevalence is, however, receiving attention in my Department, and is being brought before the international bodies concerned with public health questions.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware-that on certain instruments, which are used in the cure of cancer, there is a duty of 333 per cent., and, therefore, is interfering with the progress of science?