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Cancer death rates down by a tenth

09 February 2016 08:16

New cancer data shows mixed news

New cancer data shows mixed news

Cancer death rates in the UK have fallen significantly over the course of the last decade, new figures show.

They have plummeted by almost 10%, according to analysis by Cancer Research UK, thanks to improvements in detection, diagnosis and treatment.

But the data also shows new cancer cases are still on the rise, despite the medical progress that has been made.

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Improving rates

Cancer Research UK found that 284 out of every 100,000 people in the UK died from some form of cancer in 2013, totalling around 162,000 people. This was down from 312 in every 100,000 a decade ago.

Men's and women's death rates both fell considerably over the period, down 12% and 8% respectively. It means in the region of 85,000 men and 77,000 women are dying from cancer each year in the UK.

Lung, bowel, breast and prostate cancer account for 46% of all cancer deaths nationwide, but saw an 11% drop in death rates. Liver cancer saw a 60% rise in death rates, while pancreatic cancer death rates climbed by 8%.

New cases

The Cancer Research UK figures reveal almost 346,000 people were diagnosed with cancer in the UK in 2012, up from 282,000 in 2002 and 249,000 in 1992.

Around 162,000 people died from cancer in the UK in 2012, up from just over 155,000 in 2002, as people live longer and develop the disease in old age. But the figure of 162,000 is very similar to that of 1992.

With Britons now living longer, experts predict one in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. But some cases could be prevented, with at least a third of cases each year linked to unhealthy lifestyles, obesity, smoking and diet.

Some 80% of cancer deaths occur in people aged 65 and over, while more than half occur in those aged 75 and older.