New cases of cancer could rise by 30 per cent in the UK by 2030, experts warned, with poor diet, heavy alcohol consumption and an ageing population likely to play a major role.
The UK ranks 16th out of 27 countries in the European Union for the predicted rise in cases, says a report published by the World Cancer Research Fund.
In 2030 there will be 396,000 new cases of cancer in the UK, estimates suggest, versus 304,000 new cases in 2008 – up 30 per cent.
The league table of 27 EU member states is based on World Health Organisation estimates. Ireland has the biggest predicted rise, at 72 per cent.
The rises could owe to several factors, particularly to an ageing population. Higher-income countries tend to have greater levels of obesity and alcohol consumption and lower levels of exercise, which boost cancer risks.
Eastern Europe is expected to see a less steep rise in the number of people aged 65 or over.