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Men's cancer risk to climb to one in two in 15 years - research body

Cancer cells. REUTERS FILE PHOTO

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LONDON - A man's lifetime risk of developing cancer is set to reach one in two by 2027, according to new figures released by the Cancer Research UK on Wednesday.

This prediction means that within 15 years 50 men out of every 100 are likely to be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime as opposed to 44 out of every 100 in 2010.

The research body predicted that women's lifetime cancer risk is also increasing and is predicted to rise from 40 to 44 out of every 100 women by 2027.

But it is still optimistic about cancer surviving thanks to better techniques.

"Cancer survival has doubled in the last 40 years thanks to research developing better techniques to detect the disease and improved treatments to increase survival," it said.

"So while the risk of being diagnosed with cancer is rising, the overall chance of surviving it is improving."

It held that age is the biggest risk factor for cancer and the increase in risk is largely due to more people living longer. As our lifespan increases more people will reach an age when they are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer.

The cancers set to increase most in the next 15 years include prostate, bowel and melanoma, with prostate cancer remaining a continuing challenge.

The Cancer Research also disclosed there have been improvements in research on prostate and bowl.

Malcolm Mason, prostate cancer expert with the Cancer Research UK, said: "Over the last 40 years prostate cancer incidence rates in Great Britain have tripled, and three-quarters of cases are diagnosed in men aged over 65 years."

Mason said a research from Cancer Research UK scientists that indicates a protein called MSMB may help identify men at greater risk of prostate cancer.

"The researchers showed that this protein seems more accurately linked to prostate cancer than the marker currently tested for - the prostate specific antigen (PSA)," he said.

Research has also already led to an improvement in the way bowel cancer is diagnosed and prevented. A 16-year Cancer Research UK trial which showed how a one-off flexi-scope test could reduce the number of deaths from bowel cancer by 43 percent, and the number of new cases by a third, in those who take up the screening test.

Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK's chief executive, said: "These figures provide a glimpse into the future. On the plus side our life expectancy is increasing but this also means more of us are likely to be diagnosed with cancer."

"It's only through research that we will be able to beat cancer. We need to do more work to understand what drives cancer and how we can prevent it, as well as developing new treatments to reduce the number of people who will die from it."

 

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