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UK cancer rate will hit 47% by 2020

Published on 07/06/2013

By the year 2020 almost one in two people will develop cancer in their lifetime but survival rates will increase, according to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Figures were analysed by Macmillan Cancer Support

Recent projections from the charity suggest that whilst 47% of people will get cancer, almost 4 in ten (38%) will survive the disease.

Macmillan Cancer Support believes that this will put a huge strain on the NHS and see cancer support charities’ demand increase.

The figures were extrapolated from previous data which found that the proportion of people in the UK who will develop cancer has increased by more than a third over the past couple of decades. 

In 1992, about one in three people (32%) who died that year had had some form of cancer in their lifetime. By 2010 this rose to more than four in 10 (44%) and the proportion is expected to rise to almost 50% by 2020.

Around 900 people a day are diagnosed with some for of cancer, according to Cancer Research UK.

The increase in the expected number of people who get cancer is due to the overall average life expectancy. As people live longer they are more likely to develop cancer in their lifetime.

Macmillan warned that while survival rates were encouraging, other factors such as the effects of gruelling treatments and their side effects may impair quality of life.

Professor Jane Maher, Chief Medical Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support, says: “That we live longer as a nation, and that we are improving cancer treatment, are things to celebrate.

“We do, however, need to add a serious note of caution: the more successful we are with treatment and cure, the more people we have living with the long-term effects of cancer and its treatment.”

Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive, Macmillan Cancer Support, says: “Because of the progress in healthcare - ironically largely for conditions other than cancer - in only seven years’ time nearly half the population will get cancer in their lifetime. This poses a herculean challenge for the NHS and for society.”

Some health insurance policies can include comprehensive cancer care which can give you the latest cancer treatments and drugs in a private hospital.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013

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