Cancer cell illustration
Cancer rates are rising - but so are survival ratesVitanovski via iStock

The number of people who were diagnosed with some form of cancer rose to around 352,000 in 2015, up over 12% from the average 253,000 who were diagnosed with the disease 20 years ago in the mid-1990s. That means every year an extra 100,000 people are given the news they have what once was seen as a death sentence - but not any more.

The same data also found that survival rates from cancers over the same period have risen by about 10%. So what's going on?

It seems that more people are contracting cancers because the average life expectancy is also getting longer. According to Cancer Research UK this is partly "due to the availability of better treatments, more accurate tests, earlier diagnosis and screening programmes" available to the general public. This means more older people - who are more likely to contract cancer.

The findings by the cancer charity come as scientists in the US announced a new treatment had "unprecedented" results in terminally-ill patients. They found that 94% of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia saw all their symptoms vanish, as did over 80% of sufferers with other blood cancers.

Some forms of cancer are more dangerous than others. Whereas half of all sufferers survive for 10 or more years according to Cancer Research, 98% of testicular cancer sufferers will live that long compared with less than 20% for cancers of the brain, lung, pancreas and oesophagus.