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According to Cancer Research UK, cancer diagnoses in men and women aged 40 to 59 have risen by nearly 20 percent in a generation in the UK, reports the Guardian's Sarah Boseley. Part of that is due to more sophisticated screening methods that are able to pick up more cancers. But the other reason for the rise in diagnoses is that smoking, drinking, and obesity continues to plague middle-aged men and women, Boseley says. According to a Cancer Research UK report, the incidence of cancer has risen from 328 cases per 100,000 40 to 59 year olds in 1979, to 388 per 100,000 in 2008. That equals to 17,000 additional cancer cases being diagnosed in the UK each year for that age group, Boseley says. Women have seen a bigger rise in diagnoses than men. But advanced screening methods also mean more cancers are being detected and treated earlier, which saves lives, she adds. Survival rates have also gone up since the 1970s. Now, says Cancer Research UK, a change in lifestyle is needed — less sun exposure, unhealthy foods, smoking, and drinking, and more exercise.

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