Rocketing pollution, pesticide use and gadgets have caused childhood cancer rates to soar by 40 per cent in less than two decades, according to new analysis.
Compared to 1998, there are 1,300 more cancer diagnoses in children and young people below the age of 25 every year.
The surge is partly linked to population growth, but the scientific director for the Children with Cancer UK charity said lifestyle and environmental factors were also playing a part.
A comparison study using figures from the Office for National Statistics found:
- Cases of colon cancer in children are up by 200%
- Thyroid cancer diagnoses have more than doubled
- Ovarian cancer is up 70%
- Cervical cancer is up 50%
Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, Prof Denis Henshaw said burnt barbecue food, the electric fields of power lines, and hairdryers were contributors to the rise, as well as a pregnant mother's diet and working shifts.
The charity is now calling on the government and the medical community to invest money in precision medicine - or targeted therapies - to ensure all children have access by 2020.