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Cancer carries fear factor for many

Thursday December 9th 2010

A study has found that cancer tops the fear list of many people.

About 20% of people picked cancer as their number one fear over other options on a list, which included Alzheimer's, debt, old age, being the victim of knife crime, a plane crash, motor neurone disease, a car accident, a heart attack or losing a job or home.

The research was carried out among 2,000 people by Cancer Research UK.

Meanwhile, 34% of people said that cancer was down to fate and that there was nothing they could do to avoid it.

Some 41% of people aged 55 to 64 also thought there was nothing they could do to cut the risk.

Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK's director of health information, said: "The fear factor is a serious wake-up call for the British public.

"It's absolutely vital for us to get the message out that people can do something to alleviate their emphatic fear of cancer.

"Long-term survival has doubled since the 70s thanks to better diagnosis, improved treatments and the development of nationwide screening programmes for breast, bowel and cervical cancers.

"When cancer is diagnosed early then treatment is more likely to be effective with a better chance of long-term survival."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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