In just seven years' time almost one out of every two people will be expected to get cancer during their lifetime, a charity has warned. Macmillan Cancer Support has projected that by 2020, 47% of people in the UK will be diagnosed with the disease.
Macmillan Cancer Support has found that the proportion of people who will develop cancer at some point in their lives has increased by more than a third over the past two decades.
In 1992, 32% of people who died that year had been diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives and by 2010, this had risen to 44%
The number who get cancer who don't die from the disease has increased by 67% over the past 20 years, in 1992, around one in five people diagnosed with cancer died from another cause, and by 2010, this had risen to more than one in three
The charity also found growing evidence that many cancer patients do not return to full health after treatments.
Macmillan Cancer Support's chief medical officer Professor Jane Maher said the fact that we liver longer as a nation and the improvement of cancer treatment are "things to celebrate".
She added that there was, however, a "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.
Many patients can be left with physical health and emotional problems long after treatment has ended. People struggle with fatigue, pain, immobility, or an array of other troublesome side-effects.
We need to manage these consequences for the sake of the patient, but also for the sake of the taxpayer. We should plan to have more services to help people stay well at home, rather than waiting until they need hospital treatment.
Almost half the number of people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer by the year 2020, a charity has warned.
Macmillan Cancer Support said the stark rise in the number of people who get, and survive, cancer poses a "herculean" challenge to the NHS.
The charity added that although almost one in two people are expected to get the disease, around four in 10 patients (38%) will not die from it.
The research was conducted from existing data on cancer prevalence, incidence and mortality, and found that the number of people who will develop cancer has increased by more than a third over the past two decades.