Nearly a third of a million people are diagnosed with cancer every year, according to a UK charity.
Some 330,000 people were diagnosed with some form of the disease in 2011 – an increase of almost 50,000 per year over a decade. Researchers say an ageing population is one of the reasons for the increase.
Jessica Kirby from Cancer Research UK said: “People’s risk of cancer goes up significantly as we get older; the more older people we have in our population the more people will develop cancer.”
“There are other reasons for the rise as well; changes in risk factors for example. We know that more and more people are overweight compared to the past which is one of the key factors for cancers.”
But greater awareness, advanced technology and ongoing medical research means cancer is being detected earlier and those that have it are living longer.
Edward Scott believes an early diagnosis of testicular cancer saved his life. The 15-year-old discovered a lump last year and sought urgent advice.
“I went on the NHS website and I found all the symptoms for testicular cancer were symptoms that I had,” he said.
“The same day I went to my mum and said ‘Mum there is something really wrong, I have to go get this sorted out’.
“I went into the GP and the same day I found out I had cancer.”