Cancer Diagnostics / Health

By 2020, nearly half of all people in the UK will get cancer in their lifetime

By 2020, nearly half of all people in the UK will get cancer in their lifetimeA new statistic revealed by Macmillan Cancer Support says that by 2020, almost half of the people in the UK will get cancer in their lifetime.

An analysis of current data revealed that in 2020 nearly one in two people, 47% to be exact, will get cancer in their lifetime. However almost one in four (38%) will not die of the disease.

This increase will put more pressure on the healthcare system and more demand on cancer support charities such as Macmillan. In today’s world, people are living longer and as the population ages, the bigger the population that gets cancer.

The reduction in the amount of people dying from cancer is caused by improved and earlier diagnosis, improved treatments and cancer care. Ciaràn Devane, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said “Because of the progress in healthcare – ironically largely for conditions other than cancer – in only seven years time nearly half the population will get cancer in their lifetime. This poses a herculean challenge for the NHS and for society”.

Although living longer and improved cancer treatments are facts to be celebrated, we must also note that improved treatments and cures mean we have more people living with the long-term side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.

The number of people who will get cancer during their lifetime has increased by over a third in the last 20 years within the UK.

20 years ago, 21% of people who died having had a cancer diagnosis died from other causes. Today, this has increased to 35% and will improve to 38% by 2020. So today, there are twice as many people who get cancer but don’t die from it compared with 20 years ago. In 2010 around 90,000 cancer patients did not die from the disease, whilst in 1992, it was roughly 45,000.

Ischaemic heart disease, respiratory diseases and cerebrovascular disease such as stroke are the most common non-cancer causes of death.



Randox Laboratories provide a number of tumour marker arrays used in the detection and screening of various forms of cancer.  For more information, visit the Biochip Immunoassays section of the website.

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