Cancer deaths in the UK could be eliminated within 35 years for anyone under the age of 80 if patients have better access to treatment and make changes to their lifestyle.
Researchers at University College London and Kings College London say advances in radiological, surgical and drug treatments combined with a reduction in smoking and improved early diagnosis rates means the battle against cancer could largely be won by 2050.
But in a report they say investment in cancer care must increase and questioned restricting access to medicines, while urging the NHS to do more to encourage patients' awareness of minor symptoms that could indicate cancer and lead to early diagnosis.
It follows a government announcement it is to stop funding 25 cancer treatments as part of efforts to cut its projected costs by £80 million.
- Research shows deaths from the four most lethal cancers - breast, lung, bowel and prostate - have fallen by 30% between 1991 and 2012
- Around 325,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in the UK each year, with the chances of under 20s developing cancer around one in 5,000, rising to one in 100 for those in their 50s and 1 in 30 for over 65s
In the report, Prof Taylor and his fellow academics said: