Merton leading the country in reducing premature deaths from cancer
Merton has the second lowest number of premature deaths from cancer in the UK according to new health statistics.
Government figures for the years 2009-2011 show that 443 people died prematurely in the borough from the disease.
Out of 150 local authorities, Merton also had the 29th lowest percentage of people dying prematurely from disease, including conditions such as liver, lung and heart disease.
Public Heath England (PHE), which published the data, warned that one third of people in the UK are at risk of developing cancer before they reach 75 making it one of the UK’s main causes of death.
Councillor Linda Kirby, Merton's cabinet member for health, welcomed the borough figures.
She said: "I think it's mostly because of our preventable agenda. There is a lot of partnership going on such as blood pressure taken by BMI.
"It's great we all are getting together to ensure people have enough encouragement. If they have an issue, they go the their doctor.
"We all have to work together at these hard times, hard times financially. It's good that people can feel that they live in such an area."
The Big Heath Pledge campaign, recently launched by BMI Healthcare, is encouraging people to complete an online survey at bmibighealthpledge.co.uk to identify how they could improve health and fight the top five "preventable killers" - heart disease, stroke, cancer, lung disease and liver disease.
Jan Hale, executive director at BMI Healthcare, said: "Cancer, heart disease, liver disease, lung disease and stroke are never entirely preventable but through making simple changes people can reduce their risks and if that message gets through to one person, then the campaign will have been a success."
PHE's Longer Lives project has made mortality data across the country accessible to everyone on their website longerlives.phe.org.uk.
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