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Dramatic fall in cancer death rates

By Ella Pickover

Death rates for four cancers which account for half of all cancer deaths in the UK have fallen by almost a third since the early 1990s.

Over the last two decades the combined death rates for breast, bowel, lung and prostate cancer have fallen by 30%, according to data from Cancer Research UK.

Between 1991 and 1993, 146 people out of every 100,000 could have expected to die from one of these four cancers but by 2010 to 2012 these figures dipped to 102 in every 100,000. For breast cancer the death rate fell by 38% while bowel cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer dipped by 34%, 27% and 21% respectively.

"Research continues to help save lives from cancer, and these figures offer renewed encouragement that progress continues," said Cancer Research UK's chief executive Harpal Kumar.

"The UK remains a world leader in cancer research, responsible for many breakthroughs. But while the death rate for the four biggest cancer killers falls, it's vital to remember that more needs to be done to help bring even better results over the coming years.

"We're determined that the research we fund will help save more lives, developing better treatments which will beat cancer sooner."

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