One in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lives, according to the most accurate forecast to date from Cancer Research UK

The statement is based on research calculating the lifetime risk of developing cancer. This estimate means 50 percent of people born in the UK after 1960 will develop a form of cancer.

The good news, though, is cancer survival figures are also rising, with over half of patients in the last 40 years now surviving.

The estimate replaces the previous figure, calculated using a different method, which predicted that more than one in three people would develop cancer at some point in their lives.

Age is the biggest risk factor for most cancers, and the increase in lifetime risk is primarily because more people are surviving into old age, when cancer is more common. Alongside this there are certain risk factors that are increasing, and this will also influence the lifetime risk of developing cancer.

For more information, please visit Cancer Research UK's scientific blog on the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with cancer in the UK: scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org


Source: Ahmad AS, Ormiston-Smith N, Sasieni PD. Trends in the lifetime risk of developing cancer in Great Britain: Comparison of risk for those born in 1930 to 1960.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov