In Britain, the number of people diagnosed with cancer annually has reached a new high of almost a third of a million, latest figures showed.
More than 330,000 people were diagnosed with some form of the disease in 2011, the charity Cancer Research UK said -- an increase of almost 50,000 over the last decade.
Researchers say an ageing population is one factor behind the rise as people are living longer and therefore more likely to contract the disease.
"As the population ages, more people than ever before will be told: 'you have cancer,'" said chief executive Dr Harpal Kumar.
Rates of diagnosis climbed by 35 percent between 1975 and 2011, also fuelled by increasing alcohol consumption and weight gain, Cancer Research said.
The figures show that 331,487 people were diagnosed with cancer in Britain in 2011, rising from 329,547 in 2010.
The number of people surviving the disease, however, has doubled in the last 40 years thanks to improvements in prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
In 1990, 220 in every 100,000 people died of cancer but this fell by 22 per cent to 170 per 100,000 in 2011.
Prime Minister David Cameron in September announced a £400 million funding package to boost research and treatment for cancer as well as a new project to map the genomes of cancer patients.
"These figures reinforce the vital need for more research to better prevent, treat and cure cancer," added Kumar
"Research is the only way we?ll be able to reduce the devastating impact of the disease.
"One day we will beat cancer. The more research we do, the sooner that day will come."