This site is intended for health professionals only

UK women 'at greater cancer risk'

Obesity and alcohol could contribute to making British women more likely to develop cancer than their European counterparts, experts claim.

The likelihood of a British woman developing cancer by the age of 75 is 25.1% but the risk falls to 21.4% for women on the continent, according to figures from the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The chances of being killed by the disease are also higher for women in the UK, with 10.6% dying as a result of cancer before the age of 75 compared with 9.4% in Europe.

The news for British men is more positive, with 13.3% of males in the UK dying from cancer compared to the European average of 16.2%, the statistics show.

Dr Rachel Thompson, deputy head of science for the World Cancer Research Fund, said: "On average, women in the UK are more likely to be overweight and to drink more alcohol than the European average and this is a concern because both these factors increase cancer risk."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

International Agency for Research on Cancer