Cancer survival rates are also increasing

Cancer survival rates are also increasing

Cancer rates are rising in the middle-aged.

Data released by Cancer Research UK shows the significant increase over the last 30 years.

In 1979, 44,000 people aged 40-59 were diagnosed; figures indicate that in 2008, 61,000 people were treated for the disease.

It is claimed that the increase is down to better screening processes and lifestyle factors like obesity.

Whilst the number of those diagnosed has increased, cancer survival rates have also improved, doubling since the late 70s.

Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, says: "There has been undeniable progress in the treatment of cancer over the last 40 years and many more people are surviving the disease.

"But we must redouble our efforts to ensure that our research continues to discover new techniques to improve and refine diagnosis and treatment so that cancer survival becomes the norm for patients, irrespective of the cancer they have or their age at diagnosis."

Last week, Macmillan Cancer Support warned the overall cancer incidence has risen from a third to four in 10 people.

Breast cancer rates have increased by 50 per cent and in middle-aged men prostate cancer rates rose six-fold over the same time period.

Increases in diagnosis is partly due to the better screening programmes for each of the diseases, but lifestyle choices also factor in.

In women, the use of the contraceptive Pill, drinking more alcohol, having children later and being overweight have increased the risk.

Plus, skin cancer rates are also on the rise because people are spending more time in the sun.

Femalefirst Taryn Davies

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