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Cancer Intelligence

Cancer in the UK is considered one of the ‘big killers’ with breast, lung, bowel and prostate cancers together accounting for over half of all new cancers each year. There are more than 200 types of cancer, each with different causes, symptoms and treatments. Around 325,000 people were diagnosed with cancer in 2010 in the UK, that’s around 890 people every day. Overall cancer incidence rates in Great Britain have increased by more than a third since the mid-1970s, with almost this entire rise occurring before the late 1990s. Worldwide, it is estimated that around 7.6 million people died from cancer in 2008. In 2010 there were more than 157, 000 deaths from cancer in the UK, however cancer death rates in the UK have fallen by around a fifth over the last thirty years and by 10% over the last decade. Cancer survival rates in the UK have doubled in the last 40 years with half of people diagnosed with cancer surviving their disease for at least five years.

Cancer can develop at any age, but is most common in older people where more than three out of five cancers are diagnosed in people aged 65 and over. The risk of developing cancer up to the age of 50 years is 1 in 35 for men and 1 in 20 for women with less than one per cent of cancers occurring in children, teenagers and young adults (up to age 24).

Cancer incidence rates in Great Britain have risen by 22% in males and by 42% in females since the mid-1970s. There have been large increases in the incidence of many cancers strongly linked to lifestyle choices, such as kidney, liver, malignant melanoma (skin), oral and uterine (womb). Worldwide there were estimated to be around 12.7 million new cases of cancer in 2008, and over half of these were in developing countries.

Thames Valley has a population of approximately 2.3 million people.  Within the region the population generally enjoy good health, as measured across a range of factors:

Life expectancy

  • Residents in most areas of the region have a higher than average life expectancy at birth compared to England

Adults’ Health and Lifestyles

  • The proportion of the population who smoke is less than the national average (19.5 % of adults over 18) for most areas of Thames Valley.
  • The percentage of physically active adults  is lower mixed with some parts being both lower and higher than the national average .