Liver cancer is killing significantly more Scottish men than ten years ago, more women are dying of lung cancer and incidences of breast cancer are on the rise, official figures show.

Male death rates from liver cancer increased by a "statistically significant" two-fifths (40.7%) between 2003 and 2013, attributed largely to alcohol and infection with hepatitis B and C.

Female death rates from lung cancer have increased by 6.8% but over a fifth (20.8%) fewer men are dying of lung cancer than 10 years ago.

The divergence in lung cancer deaths between men and women has been attributed to "historical trends in the prevalence of smoking, which has differed between men and women".

Over a tenth (11%) more women are being diagnosed with breast cancer but far more women are surviving breast cancer, with drop in deaths of almost a fifth (19.2%).

Breast cancer remains the most common cancer in women and the rise in incidence has been partly attributed to the Scottish Breast Screening Programme.

However, lifestyle factors such as older first-time mothers, smaller families, rising post-menopausal obesity and alcohol are all thought to have played a part.

More people are dying of cancer overall in Scotland but the rising population of older people means the proportion of cancer deaths per population has actually dropped by more than a tenth.

Some 15,764 people died of cancer in 2013, up from less than 15,000 ten years ago, but the death rate per 100,000 population has dropped by 11.4% in the same period.

The figures show a greater decrease in cancer mortality rates among men than women, with a drop of 15% compared to 5.8%.

For women the largest decreases in mortality rates were stomach, breast, and ovarian cancer (24.9%, 19.2% and 15.9% respectively).

In men, the largest decreases were seen in stomach, lung and bowel cancer (37.6%, 20.8% and 19.8% respectively).

Mortality rates from prostate cancer, the most frequently diagnosed cancer in males, have also decreased by almost 12% since 2003.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said: "These figures offer renewed encouragement that progress is being made to reduce the number of cancer deaths in Scotland.

"This reduction is due to the improvements in earlier detection, through raised awareness and routine screening and the development of more specialist care and effective treatments.

"Scotland is committed to leading the way on cancer. Our £30 million Detect Cancer Early programme has resulted in a 4.7% increase in earlier stage diagnosis alongside a 50% increase in women consulting their GP with breast symptoms and increased uptake of the national bowel screening programme.

"In addition to this, Scotland is responsible for many breakthroughs in cancer research.

"But while the death rate for cancer falls, the Scottish Government will continue to fight for more to be done to bring even better results over the coming years.

"If you are worried about any symptoms that you think might be caused by cancer, make an appointment with your doctor.

"The chances are it's nothing to worry about, but if it is cancer then the earlier it is detected the easier it is to treat."