Alison Perkins, left, and Polly Winslade say they will give up smoking when they?re older.
Alison Perkins, left, and Polly Winslade say they will give up smoking when they?re older.

Smokers stay in risk zone, warns report

By SAMANTHA TURNBULL and AAP

POLLY WINSLADE and Alison Perkins are unfazed by new research predicting a 38 per cent rise in women's lung cancer in the next decade.

Polly, 20, of Dalwood, said she enjoyed smoking and was not ready to give up.

"I'll quit eventually," she said.

"I'm not worried about the health effects at this stage because I'm young. But I don't think smoking is the only thing that will contribute to a rise in cancer ? it's also what we eat and the other chemicals we come into contact with."

Alison, 18, of Alstonville, also said she had no plans to quit smoking any time soon.

"I will one day," she said. "I started three years ago because it was a sneaky thing to do with my friends, but now I can't stop."

The Australian Institute of Health forecast the cancer rise in a report released yesterday.

The report also predicted a jump in the number of all types of new cancer cases by more than 30 per cent, reflecting the ageing population.

North Coast director of population, health, planning and performance, Vahid Saberi, said the forecast was no surprise.

"We've been aware of this because of our ageing and growing population," he said.

"We're very aware of the need and the increasing demand for cancer services.

"We've been planning for this for quite a while."

Mr Saberi said there were many examples of the North Coast Area Health Service's preparations to deal with the increasing number of cancer patients.

"We have radiation oncology services being established at Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and in Lismore," he said.

"We've already started planning stage two of the Lismore Base Hospital redevelopment which will involve the Richmond Clinic being moved and becoming the hospital's cancer zone with radiation oncology services available."

The Lismore cancer care unit is expected to be completed by 2008.



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