Health

Cancer cases rise in UK, says charity

Lung cancer Image copyright SPL

More than 352,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in the UK each year - a 12% increase in the rate since the mid-90s, Cancer Research UK says.

In 2011-13 there were 603 cases diagnosed for every 100,000 Britons, compared with 540 in 1993-95 - when there were 253,000 diagnoses a year.

Experts say the rise is mainly due to the ageing and growing population.

And while the chances of getting cancer have increased, they say the chance of surviving it has also improved.

But the charity warns despite more accurate tests, better treatments and many cancers being spotted earlier, there are some cancers where survival rates are still low.

More needs to be done to tackle survival rates for lung, pancreatic and oesophageal cancer as they tend to be diagnosed at a later stage when they are harder to treat, the report says.

Nick Ormiston-Smith, Cancer Research UK's head of statistical information, said: "People are living longer so more people are getting cancer.

"But the good news is more people are surviving their cancer.

"There is still a huge variation in survival between different cancer types and there's a lot of work to do to reach Cancer Research UK's ambition for three in four patients to survive their disease by 2034."

Prof Peter Johnson, also from the charity, added: "People often think cancer is down to their genes or just bad luck.

"Although genes do play a role there are still many things people can do to reduce their cancer risk.

"The most important is not to smoke. Most people know smoking causes lung cancer, but it is also linked to at least 13 other types.

"We also know that maintaining a healthy body weight, exercising and eating a healthy balanced diet is important."

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