The number of people in the UK living with cancer will rise to a record 2.5 million in 2015, according to figures published by Macmillan Cancer Support.
The figures show that the number of cases of cancer has risen by half a million since 2010. The largest increase was in prostate cancer, which has risen by 27 per cent in the previous five years. Rates of breast cancer and colorectal cancer also increased by 21 and 18 per cent respectively. Cancer rates in over 65s rose by 23 per cent since 2010.
The figures also show that approximately 25 per cent of people are reliant on NHS after treatment for cancer. For example, men who have suffered from prostate cancer are 60 per cent more likely to develop chronic urinary problems.
Lynda Thomas, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, warned of the effect the rise will have on the NHS. She said: 'As numbers surge, the NHS will soon be unable to cope with the huge increase in demand for health services.'
The large rise in cancer rates has been attributed to improvements in detection of the disease, as well as better treatment, which allows patients to survive for longer periods of time. The figures also cite an ageing population as a cause of the rise.
Ms Thomas added: 'Ahead of the next general election, all political parties must prioritise cancer care in their upcoming manifestos. It is essential that every one of those 2.5 million people receives the highest quality care and support and gets the best chance they possibly can of surviving cancer.'