Cancer figures grow as people live longer

London: More people are suffering from cancer because of the increase in longevity, according to a leading cancer expert.

Professor Karol Sikora, of Imperial College London and Hammersmith Hospital also believes that cancer is likely to become a controllable disease, in the same way as diabetes within the next 20 years.

Speaking at a cancer prevention conference in London he said the treatment of the illness is progressing fast and that by 2015 there would be a blood test to detect those at risk. This would determine genetic makeup and the likelihood of having cancer within their lifetime.

He said: ‘The prediction is that by 2025 we will be talking about controlling cancer in the long term, not eradicating it but making cancer like diabetes. But the cost will be high.’

Globally, health services would struggle to pay for new treatments and prevention strategies, he said.

But the best solution was to prevent the disease, largely by encouraging healthier lifestyles by, for example, stopping smoking