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Cancer deaths in UK set to rise by more than 50% by 2050, experts warn

Deaths from cancer in the UK are set to rise by more than 50% in the next 26 years, stark new estimates suggest.

Experts from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have found there were 454,954 new cases of cancer in the UK in 2022 and warned this is expected to rise to 624,582 by 2050.

In 2022, 181,807 people died in Britain from cancer, but researchers warned this is expected to rise to 279,004 by 2050 – a 53% increase.

The estimates suggest the rising rates of cancer will be driven by the UK’s growing and ageing population. However, researchers have also called for new policies to tackle levels of smoking, unhealthy diets, obesity and alcohol to help lower the expected surge in cases.

The study examined cancer data from 115 different countries and estimated global cases would rise by 77 per cent, from 20 million in 2022 to 35 million in 2050.

The organisations estimate that cancer deaths around the world will almost double from 9.7 million to 18.5 million in that time.

Dr Panagiota Mitrou, director of research, policy and innovation at the World Cancer Research Fund, said the new estimates “show the increased burden that cancer will have in the years to come”.

“UK governments’ failure to prioritise prevention and address key cancer risk factors like smoking, unhealthy diets, obesity, alcohol and physical inactivity has in part widened health inequalities,” she added.

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Source: The Independent, 1 February 2024


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