British see a rise in cancer rates by 2020

Dec. 15, 2007 at 2:58 PM
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LONDON, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- A study by the British government concludes cancer cases will rise by a third by 2020 as lifestyle decisions result in increased rates of diagnosis each year.

The Cancer Reform Strategy says epidemic obesity, an aging population and diet and smoking related lifestyle decisions point to a rise in the number of expected cases over the next several years, The Times of London reported Saturday.

The report says over half of all cancers are preventable if people opted for more healthy lifestyles that included smoking cessation, healthier eating habits and physical activity.

The British government also launched a vaccination program to immunize prepubescent girls against human papilloma virus -- a program estimated to cost at least $600 million over the next few years, The Times aid.

England's Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, said the new measures accompany advances already made in the fight against cancer.

"Fewer patients need to stay in hospital for long periods. They can be treated as day care cases, they can be treated in the community," he said.

Topics: Alan Johnson
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