New research from Cancer Research UK reveals that one in two people will develop cancer at some point during their life.

The research, which was released to coincide with World Cancer Day, indicates that previous predictions by suggesting it would affect one in every three people underestimated the scale of cancer. Figures now indicate that 54% of men and 48% of women will develop cancer.

However, the research also shows that survival rates are rising because of treatment advances and earlier detection. Cancer Research UK says that around half of patients diagnosed with the disease now survive it for more than 10 years, a figure which has doubled over the last 40 years.

The increase in the number of cancer diagnoses has been largely attributed to the UK’s ageing population with around 60 percent of all cancer diagnoses being in people over the age of 65.

Cancer Research UK is calling for more resources to help improve early diagnosis and treatment for cancer patients.

Senior clinical negligence solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors’ Birmingham office, Michael Burrell said: “These figures are shocking and serve as a stark reminder that, while survival rates for cancer are improving, the scale of the challenge is huge and there is every reason to do as much as possible in terms of research into new treatments, improved diagnosis and prevention techniques. The reality is that every one of us will be closely affected by a cancer diagnosis be it personally or experiencing it through a family member or friend.

“At Thompsons, we have supported hundreds of patients who have suffered as a result of a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of cancer and understand the devastating consequences of such cases, especially if there is a treatment out there which could have helped that individual.

“The immense pressure caused by budget cuts and reforms from the coalition government only serves to increase pressure on cancer services. Knowing what we do of the risks and of the important role that clinicians can play in spotting and then treating cancers, it is absolutely fundamental – and will ultimately save NHS money over the long term – for there to be adequate funds to equip staff, ensure accurate early diagnoses and provide the best care possible.”