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Saturday 24th August 2019

Four in 10 will get cancer

15th July 2011

Rates of cancer are rising in the UK to the extent that a charity is warning that four out of every 10 people will get the disease at some point in their lives.


Macmillan Cancer Support says the figure has risen significantly in the last 10 years, with the increase posing a massive challenge for the NHS.

Ten years ago, a third of people in the UK were forecast to develop cancer at some point but that is now up to 40%.

Macmillan Cancer Support has reached that figure from projections published two years ago in the British Journal of Cancer, which concluded that at the end of 2008 there were two million cancer survivors in the UK and that the figure was rising every year.

It also assessed recent cancer incidence and mortality statistics for the UK, indicating that 310,000 people were diagnosed with cancer in 2008.

Figures show that 157,000 people died from the disease, and 89,000 who had been diagnosed with cancer died from other causes, making a total of 246,000 who died "with" cancer accounting for 42% of 580,000 deaths in the UK.

The chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, Ciaran Devane, said: “It is really alarming that the number of people who will get cancer is now well past one in three and that there are so many more people with cancer today than even 10 years ago.”

Care Services Minister for England, Paul Burstow, said it was absolutely right for Macmillan to raise this as a major issue.


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