Cancer is more prevalent in Anglesey than in
England and Wales generally; this is also the case in
the other agricultural counties of Wales, owing doubtless to the higher average age of rural communities.
There has been a great increase in the mortality
from cancer during the last 50 years in Anglesey, and
a concomitant decrease in the death-rate from Phthisis.
This increase has been associated with a great
change in the habits and diet of the people which
suffered a greater alteration during the latter half of
the 19th century than had been the case during several
Owing to the introduction of the railway and the
greater facilities afforded to the transport of merchandise,
the people of Anglesey who had formerly
lived almost entirely on the produce of the island,
were enabled to obtain, at low prices, articles of diet
which had formerly been quite beyond their reach.
Although the increase in the cancer mortality is disseminated
throughout the island, the disease attacks
most frequently those persons who live on clay and
such retentive soils, and those who dwell in the
vicinity of stagnant water; while the people who
live in limestone and sandy districts are far more
free from malignant disease.
The part played by heredity in the occurrence of
cancer is not insignificant; near relatives have frequently succumbed to the malady even when living at
great distances from one another, and under totally