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Tuesday 25th June 2019

The nation's biggest fear is cancer

9th December 2010

A poll of more than 2,000 adults in the UK has revealed that cancer is the nation’s biggest fear.


The concern comes ahead of debt, knife crime and unemployment, according to the research which was led by Cancer Research UK.

However, a third of people also wrongly believed that getting cancer was down to fate and there was nothing they could do to avoid it.

The charity has emphasised the point that cancer was not inevitable and several cancers could be prevented through lifestyle changes such as giving up smoking, losing weight and doing exercise.

Sara Hiom of Cancer Research UK said: "The fear factor is a serious wake-up call for the British public. It's absolutely vital for us to get the message out that people can do something to alleviate their emphatic fear of cancer.

“Cancer is no longer the death sentence people still seem to dread. Long-term survival has doubled since the '70s thanks to better diagnosis, improved treatments and the development of nationwide screening programmes for breast, bowel and cervical cancers.

“Spotting early signs and symptoms of what could be cancer - but probably isn't - and getting these checked out by a doctor means that the disease can be diagnosed more quickly.”

The Department of Health is launching an England-wide campaign in January to raise awareness of the early signs and symptoms of the three most common cancers, which are breast, lung and bowel.

The aim is to encourage people to seek medical advice as soon as possible.


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