Experts warn that new cases of cancer could rise by 30 per cent in the UK by 2030, due to unhealthy lifestyle choices and an ageing population.
The UK has been ranked 16th out of 27 countries in the European Union for a predicted rise in cases of cancer.
The report, published by the World Cancer Fund and based on World Health Organisation estimates, predicts that there will be 396,000 new cases of cancer in the UK by 2030.
This is a 30 per cent increase on the 304,000 new cases of cancer recorded in 2008.
Ireland will have the biggest predicted rise in cancer at 72 per cent.
The rises could owe to several factors, particularly to an ageing population. Higher-income countries tend to have greater levels of obesity and alcohol consumption and lower levels of exercise, which boost cancer risks.
Eastern Europe is expected to see a less steep rise in the number of people aged 65 or over, putting these countries at the bottom of the league table.
Dr Rachel Thompson, deputy head of science at the WCRF, said: 'We know people in high-income countries such as those in Western Europe are more likely to be overweight, to drink a lot and to be relatively inactive.
'There is strong evidence that these factors increase the risk of several common cancers.
'But many of these new cases could be prevented and lifestyle changes can make a real difference.
'In fact, scientists estimate that about a third of the most common cancers in the UK and other high income countries could be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight, being more physically active and eating more healthily.’
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