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Anal cancer rates have quadrupled since the mid-70s

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The number of cases of anal cancer in the UK has increased by nearly 300 per cent over the last 40 years, according to figures published by Cancer Research UK.

The latest figures also show death rates for anal cancer have more than quadrupled since the mid 70s, with around six people now dying every week from the disease in the UK.

The increase in cases was greater in women (374 per cent) than in men (202 per cent) and the number of cases rose from 0.4 to 1.8 per 100,000 in females compared with 0.4 to 1.2 per 100,000 in males, the charity says. These figures were taken from the cancer registries.

It is thought the rise has been caused by the increasing prevalence of the human papillomavirus (HPV). An estimated 90 per cent of anal cancer cases in the UK are linked to HPV infection, which is usually transmitted through sexual activity

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