Cancer cases predicted to rise

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Cancer cases predicted to rise

The number of elderly in the UK diagnosed each year the highest risk seen with cancer is set to rise by 80% in less than 20 years, a report predicts. Cancer Research UK estimates that by 2035 about 234,000 over-75s will get cancer each year - up from 130,000 now.

The charity also said the elderly were more likely to have multiple health conditions, leading to later diagnoses. It called on the health service to prepare now for the rise in older patients with “complex needs”.

Meanwhile the first national study of its kind in England reveals cancer patients have a 20% increased risk of suicide, with the highest risk seen within the first months of diagnosis.

The findings of the study, presented at PHE’s Cancer Services, Data and Outcomes Conference, show cancers with poorer prognoses are associated with the highest risk, including mesothelioma, and pancreatic, oesophageal, lung and stomach cancers.

The reasons are complex and not fully understood, but may include fear of pain or treatment side-effects. The study, in collaboration with University College London, looked at adults diagnosed with malignant cancer over a 20-year period.

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