The Cancer Research UK has forecast that one in two British people will develop cancer at some point in their lives. This replaces a previous estimate that one in three would suffer from cancer.
According to the study published in the British Journal of Cancer, age was the biggest risk factor for cancer, with other influences including smoking, obesity, diet, tanning and sunburn and lack of exercise. Cancer Research UK chief executive Harpal Kumar said, "We're living longer and that means we're more likely to develop a range of age-related health issues. We need to plan ahead to make sure the NHS is fit to cope. If the NHS doesn't act and invest now, we will face a crisis in the future - with outcomes from cancer going backwards. There would never be a single magic bullet that cures all 200 types of cancers, but earlier diagnosis is important to improving outcomes."
The study found that the death rate from cancer was likely to remain the same, with one quarter of deaths caused by cancer. The charity said there was an urgent need to increase public health and National Health Service (NHS) cancer services to cope with a growing and aging population. The study comes as the funding difficulties of the already-strained NHS emerges as an important issue in Britain's election campaign ahead of a vote in May.