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Men's cancer risk 'to climb to one in two'

31 December, 2012

Leeds: Men look set to have a one in two chance of developing cancer in their lifetime, UK experts predict.

The increase to 50 out of 100, up from the current 44 in 100 chance, is largely down to people living longer age is the biggest cancer risk factor, says Cancer Research UK.

The cancers set to increase the most in men within the next 15 years are bowel, prostate and skin (melanoma).

But more will survive cancer, thanks to better screening and treatments.

Medical advances mean cancer survival has already doubled in the past 40 years. And there will be more than 194,000 women diagnosed with cancer in 2027 compared with 160,000 in 2010 - which would mean a woman's lifetime odds of developing cancer would be 44 in 100, up from 40 in 100.

A pressing task is to find an effective way to screen for prostate cancer.

Not all cancer in the prostate is aggressive or life-threatening - some people live with the condition for a lifetime without any problems.

But doctors still have no reliable test that can spot which of these tumours are safe to leave alone.

Another challenge is getting men to turn up for cancer screening even when a good test for it does exist, says Alan White, chairman of the Men's Health Forum and professor of men's health at Leeds Metropolitan University.

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