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Cancer is UK's biggest health fear

Published on 16/08/2011
Concerns about cancer are a major factor in the purchase of private medical insurance, and a Cancer Research UK survey has revealed that people fear cancer more than any other serious illness.

Whilst a quarter of people (25%) said Alzheimer’s disease was their biggest fear, more than a third (35%) of the 2,056 adults are most afraid of developing cancer.*

16% of the respondents said that brain cancer was their most feared form of the disease. Over half of these believe it is the cancer you are most likely to die from, and 47% think it has the worst symptoms.

Indeed, the five year survival rate for brain cancer is 15% for women and 13% for men. However, pancreatic cancer has the poorest survival rate of all the cancers, with just 2-3% of those diagnosed surviving for five years or more.

For men, bowel cancer is the second most feared form of the disease, chosen by 12% of respondents. Lung cancer and prostate cancer came in third with 10%.

Breast cancer is the second most feared form for women (13%), followed by bowel and lung. However, a fifth of the adults questioned believe breast cancer has the best survival rate. Indeed, more than 80% of women now survive breast cancer for at least five years.

Dr Lesley Walker, director of cancer information at Cancer Research UK, said: "Cancer is a very emotive subject and it’s understandable why so many people fear it among other diseases. Yet people should be reassured that we are doing all we can to find new treatments for the disease."

Whilst cancer is a driving factor for the purchasing of private health insurance, a customer survey conducted last year found that many policyholders are unfamiliar with the terms and conditions of cover. Compare health insurance policies online now to see which cover would be right for you.

^Source: YouGov

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011


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