Britain sees rising number of cancer cases

London, Feb 18 (IANS) More than 352,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in Britain each year, which is a 12 percent increase in the rate since the mid-1990s, according to the figures released on Wednesday by Cancer Research UK.

Some 540 cancer cases were diagnosed for every 100,000 local people between 1993 and 1995 when there were 253,000 diagnosed cases a year. The rate rose to 603 per 100,000 in the period of 2011 to 2013, Xinhua reported.

While the chances of getting cancer have increased, the chances of surviving the disease have also climbed.

Survival has doubled over the last 40 years thanks to better treatments, more accurate tests, earlier diagnosis and screening programme, according to the Cancer Research UK. Cancer death rates in the country have fallen by nearly 10 percent over 10 years.

The rise in the number of people being diagnosed with cancer is down to an aging and growing British population, which means there is more pressure on public health services to diagnose and treat an expanding population, the organisation said.

“People are living longer so more people are getting cancer. But the good news is more people are surviving their cancer,” said Nick Ormiston-Smith, Cancer Research UK’s head of statistical information.

“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,” he added.

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, according to the charity.

“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,” said professor Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK’s chief clinician.

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