Cancer death rates set for a 'dramatic fall'
This makes a nice change from such BBC headlines as Cancer cases 'to soar', Cancer menace on the rise, Action urged on cancer 'timebomb' and Cancer in over 65s predicted to treble by 2040, but my reason for mentioning it is to place a bet with you, dear reader, that by the time I get out of bed in the very late morning, the third paragraph of this news story will have been changed. It currently reads as follows...
I think not. It would be wonderful if a mere 170 out of every 100,000 deaths were caused by cancer. That would mean only 1 in 588 deaths were caused by the disease. Unfortunately, the figure is closer to 30,000 out of every 100,000 deaths.
What our hapless BBC rewriter of press releases has done here is mistake the conventional deaths per 100,000 lives ratio with a very unconventional deaths per 100,000 deaths ratio. You would hope that a "health and science reporter" for the world's most trusted broadcaster would not make such a big mistake, but then maybe the press release was written in a small font.
You can see the actual mortality figures for 2010 here.