Cancer is on the rise in England, with the latest statistics indicating that at least 813 new cases are recorded every day. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released the new figures on 23 February, noting that nearly 300,000 cases of cancer were registered in 2014.
The startling figures come just days after the ONS revealed that the number of people giving up smoking is decreasing, prompting Cancer Research UK to urge the government to act to reduce smoking rates. George Butterworth, policy manager at the organisation, condemned cuts to health budgets and said this was "undermining the ability of local areas to tackle smoking".
The ONS statistics revealed that breast cancer accounted for the largest proportion of cancer registrations in England, making up 15.6% of cancer cases. Following closely behind is prostate cancer (13.4%), lung cancer (12.6%) and colorectal cancer (11.5%). According to the ONS, these three types of cancer account for "over half of the cancer registrations in England for all ages combined".
The statistics also revealed that men are more likely to get cancer than women, with 150,832 cases reported in males compared with 146,031 in females. Cancer Research UK said that one in two people develop cancer at some point in their lifetime. However, its research has indicated more than four in 10 cases of cancer could be prevented through making small lifestyle changes, such as not smoking.
Professor Peter Johnson, chief clinician at Cancer Research UK, said: "People often think cancer is down to their genes or just bad luck. Although genes do play a role there are still many things people can do to reduce their cancer risk. The most important is not to smoke. Most people know smoking causes lung cancer, but it's also linked to at least 13 other types."
According to recent figures released by Cancer Research UK, more than 352,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year in the UK. The research indicated that this showed a 12% increase in the rate since the mid-1990s, however, they also noted that the chance of surviving cancer has doubled in the past 40 years. Cancer death rates in the UK have reportedly fallen by nearly 10% over the past 10 years.
Nick Ormiston-Smith, head of statistical information at Cancer Research UK, said: "People are living longer so more people are getting cancer. But the good news is more people are surviving their cancer. There's still a huge variation in survival between different cancer types and there's still a lot of work to do to reach Cancer Research UK's ambition for there in four patients to survive their disease by 2034."