Intended for healthcare professionals


Half of the UK population can expect a diagnosis of cancer

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 04 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h614
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

Half of people in the United Kingdom will get a diagnosis of cancer at some point in their lifetime, say forecasts from Cancer Research UK published in the British Journal of Cancer on Wednesday 4 February.1

A person’s lifetime risk is typically calculated using current risks at different ages, but this relies on age specific cancer rates and all cause mortality to remain stable over a long time. Instead, for their projections, researchers based at Queen Mary University of London estimated the probability of receiving a diagnosis of cancer (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers) among people born from 1930 to 1960 by estimating the future risks for those people born in each year at specific ages …

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