Cancer rates will climb nearly six times faster in women than in men over the next 20 years, according to the latest figures released by Cancer Research UK, ahead of World Cancer Day.
It is projected that UK cancer rates will increase by around half a per cent for men and by around three per cent for women. This will mean that by 2035 an estimated 4.5 million women and 4.8 million men will be diagnosed with cancer in the 20 year period.
Smoking and obesity are part of the reason for the faster rising rates for women as several of the obesity-related cancer types only affect women. Widespread smoking among women happened later than men and smoking continues to have a big effect on the number of cancer cases diagnosed each year.
Dr Richard Berks of Breast Cancer Now said:
“As our population grows and gets older, the number of women being diagnosed with breast cancer is projected to rise dramatically in the next 20 years. Breast cancer is already a public health problem now and it will only get worse.
“If we’re to stop people dying from breast cancer – as well as reducing the impact the disease has on the NHS – we need to help women to reduce their risk. Simple lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise and cutting down on alcohol will reduce rates of other cancers, too.
“Breast Cancer Now is proud to be involved in World Cancer Day, uniting for people with breast cancer.”