Half Of British People Will Get Cancer, Study Suggests


A new study by Cancer Research UK suggests that half of British people born after 1960 will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life. A report from Sky News reveals that the figure replaces the previous estimate which stated that one in three people would contract the illness, prompting the study to warn that British people would face a major crisis if the country didn’t plan ahead.

Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, Harpal Kumar, believes Britain needs to start making preparations in light of recent discoveries.

“We need to plan ahead to make sure the NHS is fit to cope. If the NHS doesn’t act and invest now, we will face a crisis in the future – with outcomes from cancer going backwards. There will never be one single magic bullet that…cures all cancers. I cannot foresee a time when that’s going to be the case. But already we’re able to cure a number of cancers now.”

The new figure was published recently in the British Journal Of Cancer and, according to the study, is, “derived from a more accurate way of calculating the risk.”

While this may be cause for concern, The Guardian states that the increase in cancer risk could be due to British people living longer, according to the author of the paper, Professor Peter Sasieni.

“Cancer is primarily a disease of old age, with more than 60% of all cases diagnosed in people aged over 65…If people live long enough, most will get cancer at some point.”

Cancer Research has called for the NHS to improve treatment and boost public health and have demanded better diagnostics and earlier diagnoses. Despite the chances of British people born after 1960 getting cancer, the survival rate in the UK has doubled over the last 40 years with around half of patients surviving the illness.

Public affairs manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, Ellie Rose, says there will be “herculean” challenges ahead for British people and the NHS, which may be unable to cope with the demand for treatment and services as more and more people contract cancer.

With the upcoming election, Rose believes that, whichever party is elected, they will need to support the health service in preparation for, “the colossal wave of people who will be diagnosed with cancer during their time in power.”

While there is no, “one single magic bullet,” as Cancer Research UK says, there are new remedies being discovered which could help to either prevent or even kill cancer, especially for British people who could be diagnosed over the coming years. The Inquisitr even reported recently that new studies show the anti-carcinogenic properties of green tea could have major preventative effects against the disease.

[Lead image via BTS.org.]