Scientists reveal the UK's deadliest cancer and it's not breast or bowel – the 8 key signs to watch out for | The Sun

LUNG cancer is still the deadliest form of the disease in the UK, a new study suggests.

Scientists found the condition, which kills around 35,000 Brits every year, knocks an average of 14 years off a person's life.

That equates to about 500,000 years across the population, based on average life expectancy.

Overall, 2.3 million years of life are lost to all types of cancer each year, the analysis by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) revealed.

While lung cancer topped the list, bowel cancer ranked second, with almost 214,000 years of life lost, followed by breast cancer, which claims nearly 197,000 years.

Annually, the diseases kill 16,000 and 11,500 people in the UK respectively.



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Pancreatic cancer came in at 127,000 years lost, with 9,000 deaths, while it was 114,000 years and 8,000 lives lost for cancer of the oesophagus.

Study author Dr Judith Offman, from Queen Mary University of London, said: "This analysis allows us to see the impact cancer has on patients and their families, and the precious time that is lost as a result."

Michelle Mitchell, CRUK chief executive, added: "This new analysis is a stark reminder of the impact cancer has on so many people’s lives in the UK today.

"Behind statistics are people affected by cancer, and these years of life lost are missed chances to reach milestones and spend precious time with loved ones."

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The research, published in the British Journal of Cancer, found some cancers, like testicular and cervical, contributed to a smaller number of years lost because they aren't as common.

But testicular cancer still claimed an average of 33 years of life because it is usually diagnosed in younger people.

There are around 65 testicular cancer deaths in the UK every year, and about 850 attributed to cervical cancer.

Experts looked at mortality data from 1988 to 1992 and 2013 to 2017.

They used the age at which cancer patients died from their disease and average life expectancy for the general population to estimate how many years were lost to cancer.

Dr Offman said: "Measuring years of life lost over a 30-year period provides a different lens to evaluate where health policies and advances in treatment have worked and highlight areas where more needs to be done.

"Research like this is instrumental in helping leaders in health and politics make the best decisions for patients and their loved ones."

According to the NHS, one in two people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime.

There are 375,000 new cases diagnosed every year, and 167,000 deaths.

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In the UK, the four most common types of the disease are breast, lung, prostate and bowel cancer.

While the overall number of years lost to cancer has risen since the 1980s, experts said this was down to a growing population, and that cancer rates have declined by 15 per cent over the 30-year period.

Symptoms of lung cancer

MORE than 43,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer every year in the UK.

It is one of the most common and serious forms of the disease, and kills around 35,000 Brits annually.

In the early stages, people often experience no symptoms, meaning it is hard to identify.

But many sufferers will eventually notice some of the following signs:

  • A persistent cough
  • Coughing up blood
  • Repeated chest infections
  • Persistent breathlessness
  • Unexplained tiredness or lack of energy
  • Explained weight loss
  • An ache or pain when breathing or coughing
  • A loss of appetite

Less common symptoms include:

  • Changes in the appearance of your fingers (e.g. becoming more curved or their ends becoming larger)
  • A high temperature (of 38C of above)
  • Difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • Wheezing
  • A hoarse voice
  • Swelling of your face or neck
  • Persistent shoulder pain

Although people who have never smoked can develop lung cancer, smoking is the most common cause.

Source: NHS

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