Cancer Cases May Have Risen By 12% But Survival Rates Are High, New Figures Show

The number of people being diagnosed with cancer each year has risen, new statistics show.

Figures from Cancer Research UK suggest that more than 352,000 people are diagnosed with the disease on an annual basis - a 12% increase since the mid-nineties.

Despite this there is some "good news", says Cancer Research's Nick Ormiston-Smith, as the chances of surviving the disease have also climbed.

The charity has since advised people to make changes to their lifestyles in order to try and prevent the disease.

While the new figures show that chances of getting cancer have risen, they also present a more positive picture as the chances of surviving the disease are high.

Survival has doubled over the last 40 years thanks to better treatments, more accurate tests, earlier diagnosis and screening programmes.

Meanwhile cancer death rates in the UK have fallen by nearly 10% over the past decade.

Experts say that the rise in the number of people being diagnosed with cancer is down to an ageing and growing UK population, which puts extra pressure on NHS services to diagnose and treat patients.

They revealed that lung, pancreatic and oesophageal cancer are examples where survival is still low - partly because they tend to be diagnosed at a later stage when they're much harder to treat.

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’s 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."

While one in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime, more than four in 10 cases of cancer could be prevented through changes including not smoking.

Professor Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK’s chief clinician, 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 to not smoke. Most people know smoking causes lung cancer, but it’s 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.

"There is no guarantee against cancer but there are things we can do to make us less likely to get it, and things that the Government can do help us to make the right choices and protect future generations."

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