Greece has a sad record of the biggest rate of lung cancer cases among the male population in Europe. However, this comes as no surprise since according to recent research, 63% of Greek adults smoke.
Greece is one of the few developed countries presenting such high rates of lung cancer in men. In Greece and Romania, lung cancer is the most common type of malignant tumor. In other European countries such as France, Britain and Germany this type of cancer is in third or fourth place. According to a professor of the Medical School of Athens University, if Greeks stopped smoking at this moment, a reduced lung cancer incidence would be visible after 20 years.
Meanwhile, a report of the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that cervical cancer is one of the most common malignant diseases among Greek women, which is primarily attributed to smoking, bad diet and contagious diseases. WHO points out the importance of the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccination that can significantly eliminate the risk of cervical cancer, while the Pap test is considered highly important as it can detect the disease at an early stage.
Data from the Greek Statistical Service show that Drama, Serres, Kilkis and Grevena, southern Greece, are the regions with the highest rates of cancer deaths. This phenomenon might be associated with the great immigration wave of the areas’ residents to West Germany in the 60s, where they were exposed to carcinogens. It might also be due to pollutants produced in the neighboring Bulgaria and transported to Greece by the waters of Nestos river.