CANCER causes one in four of all deaths in the UK, with a peak rate in people aged 85-89. The outpouring of support for the Princess of Wales, aged 42, who revealed her illness in a video message last Friday, reflects the compassion felt for Kate and her family over coping with the diagnosis while in the prime of life. Survival varies hugely between cancer types, and millions will be subscribing to the hope that the Princess recovers completely.

As with any disease, chances of successful treatment increase when there is accurate understanding of the cause or causes. With cancer, there are usually multiple factors at play, such that the body’s natural defences against rogue cells become overwhelmed.

Last Saturday the Telegraph reported that an ‘epidemic’ of cancer in young people (under 50s) has taken experts by surprise. Diet, genetic inheritance, and perhaps a greater willingness to get symptoms checked out, are among possible factors mentioned by researchers. The American Cancer Society also says that among a record two million new cases expected in 2024, many are occurring in younger people.

As TCW reported last week, there is strong statistical evidence that a huge rise in the number of long-term sick in the UK is related to an increase in cancer cases in the 15-44 age group. The increase began in 2021 and accelerated substantially in 2022.

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