Skin cancer is now the fifth most common cancer in England

  • Posted

Posted 19/06/2014

Julie Crossley 1397333021_JulieCrossleyCPX.jpg

Skin cancer is now the fifth most common cancer in England

The numbers of people diagnosed with skin cancer and liver cancer have risen sharply in England. Between 2003 and 2012, skin cancer cases increased by 78% in men and 48% in women, while cases of liver cancer had risen by 70% in men and 60% in women. Skin cancer is now the fifth most common cancer and accounts for 4% of new cases.

The number of newly diagnosed cases increased from 3,109 in men and 3,886 in women in 2003 to 5,535 in men and 5,746 in women in 2012. Changes in clothing trends and an increase in sunbathing are thought to be behind the rise.

In 2012, breast cancer was the most common cancer in women, affecting 31% of those with a cancer diagnosis.   In men, prostate  cancer was the most commonly diagnosed cancer – at 26%. Lung and bowel cancers were the second and third most prevalent cancers in men and women respectively.

Liver cancer is now the 18th most common cancer in England and accounts for 1% of new cases. The number of new cases increased from 1,440 in men and 889 in women in 2003 to 2,449 for men and 1,418 for women in 2012. The three main causes of liver cancer are alcohol, obesity and viral hepatitis. It is recommended that people who drink should have two to three days off a week to let their liver rejuvenate. 

Lung cancer rates rose by 18% in women between 2003 and 2012, but fell by 8% in men. Changing smoking patterns were behind the split, as there was a fall in the number of men who smoked in the past 50 to 60 years, but a rise in the number of women taking it up during the same time.  

Matt Wickenden, at Cancer Research UK, said more than 40% of cancers could be prevented through lifestyle changes and that smoking caused “nearly a fifth of all cancers”.

The rate of breast cancer diagnoses has remained fairly constant over the past decade. Age was the main risk factor for breast cancer, with 80% of women diagnosed in 2012 aged over 50.   

Julie Crossley, a medical injury lawyer at Ashtons Legal, comments:  “We see many cases where clients believe that they were misdiagnosed or there was a delay in diagnosis. Early screening is becoming more widespread and it is being proven that the earlier the diagnosis and start of treatment the more favourable the outcome. We must however bear in mind that some cancers are very aggressive and may not respond to treatment. In order to run a successful medical injury claim, the end outcome needs to have been affected by the delay in diagnosis or treatment and in some instances where cancer is concerned this will not be the case.”


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