Almost half of the UK population may get cancer in their lifetime
The number of people in the UK who will get cancer during their lifetime will increase to nearly half the population by 2020, a report has forecast.
Macmillan Cancer Support said the projected figure of 47% would put huge pressure on the NHS.
Yet those who do develop cancer will be less likely to die from the disease, the charity predicted.
In 1992, the proportion of people in the UK who got cancer during their life was 32%. This increased to 44% in 2010, an increase of more than a third.
Macmillan said this figure would continue rising over the next decade, levelling off at around 47% between 2020 and 2030.
The charity also found that many more people were surviving cancer compared to 20 years ago.
In 1992, 45,000 people, or 21% of those who had cancer, did not die from the disease.
This increased to around 90,000 (35%) in 2010 and was predicted to rise to four in 10 people (38%) surviving cancer and dying from another cause by 2020.
Although the charity said the survival trend was “encouraging”, it said there was growing evidence that many cancer patients did not return to full health after gruelling treatments and the serious side effects of the disease.