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Third of a million get cancer every year

Ageing population one of the main causes of increase

Almost a third of a million people in the UK are diagnosed with cancer every year, figures have revealed.

In 2011, more than 330,000 people were diagnosed with some form of the disease, Cancer Research UK said.

Ten years before the figure stood at 283,000, the charity said.

One of the main reasons behind the rise is an ageing population, a spokesman said.

The charity said that the rates of diagnosis have soared by more than a third since the mid-1970s.

In 1975, around 295 out of every 100,000 people were diagnosed with the disease. In 2011, this had increased to almost 400 per 100,000.

The increase in rates is partly attributable to lifestyle factors such as people drinking too much or being overweight.

While the rates are going up, the number of people surviving the disease is also on the rise.

In the 1970s just 23% of cancer patients survived for 10 years, this climbed to 46% in 2007.

“These figures reinforce the vital need for more research to better prevent, treat and cure cancer,” Cancer Research UK's chief executive Dr Harpal Kumar said.

“As the population ages, more people than ever before will be told: 'you have cancer'.

”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.“