Male bowel cancer rates 'have doubled'

A new study has revealed the number of men developing bowel cancer has doubled over the last three-and-a-half decades and could be set to increase more over the coming years.

Research conducted by Cancer Research UK found a total of 21,500 males were suffering from the condition in 2008, as opposed to 11,800 in 1975. A further 17,400 women were living with bowel cancer three years ago, up from 13,500 in the mid-1970s.

"As people are living longer, the numbers getting cancer have increased and the lifetime risk of developing bowel cancer has gone up," author Professor Peter Sasieni explained.

Prof Sasieni added that the risk of contracting bowel and other cancers is likely to be "much higher" in ten years' time, but noted that older people who had not already developed the disease were less likely to do so.

Earlier this week, the charity and a team of Cambridge scientists announced plans to trial a new device which could identify Barratt's oesophagus, an occasional precursor to throat cancer.

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