It’s a question that keeps many up at night, could that new lump, a long-running cough or that sudden change in toilet habit be a sign of cancer?

Cancer is a disease that will, statistically, strike about half of us in our lifetime.

But what is the exact risk for men and women by type of cancer? And what are the odds of being alive the next decade following a diagnosis?

MailOnline has analysed data from charity Cancer Research UK to show you what the most common types of the disease are in Britain, as well as the deadliest.

There has been Interest in cancer is high, with cancer charities and the NHS reporting a surge in visits to their online resources following The Princess of Wales revealing her own cancer battle.

This chart shows British women’s lifetime risk of diagnosis across a range of cancers. It also shows the risk of dying within 10 years following learning they have the disease 

And this chart shows the equivalent data for British men 

Overall British women have a 43 per cent chance of getting cancer in their lifetime. 

If they do get the disease there is a 46.3 per cent chance they will be dead within a decade of their diagnosis.

Men have a slightly higher risk of getting cancer at 45 per cent. 

They also have a higher risk of death, with 54.2 per cent of male cancer patients dead 10 years after their diagnosis.

By cancer type, sex-specific cancers were among the most common.

About one in six men (16.7 per cent) will get prostate cancer in their lifetime with a similar proportion of women (14.3 per cent) getting breast cancer.

Despite being more common, the odds of patients with these types of cancer seeing the next decade are higher than other forms of the disease.

The minority of men, about one in six (16.2 per cent), with prostate cancer will be dead within 10-years of their diagnosis.

For breast cancer patients, the number killed in a decade is just under one in four (24.1 per cent).

Lung cancer is the next most common cancer across both sexes striking 7.1 per cent of men, and 7.7 per cent of women respectively. 

It is also one of the deadliest. Among male patients 96 per cent are dead within 10-years of their diagnosis, for women the figure is 93.5 per cent.

Bowel cancer, the same type of the disease that killed Dame Deborah James at age 40 in 2022, is the third most common form of cancer by type in the data.

It strikes about one in 20 men (5.9 per cent) and women (5 per cent).

Of men who get the disease, 44 per cent die within the decade, and for women the figure is 42.8 per cent. 

Pancreatic cancer, famed for subtle symptoms that mean it is often caught in later and less treatable stages, is the deadliest cancer among the CRUK data analysed. 

The vast majority of men and women with this type of cancer (98.9 per cent) are dead within 10-years of diagnosis. 

Lung cancer takes the next spot for deadly cancer, followed by cancers of the oesophagus, the tube connecting the mouth and the stomach, and cancers of the brain and nervous system.

Over 85 per cent of patients with these cancers will die within 10 years of their diagnosis.

According to CRUK data, there are just over 375,000 new cancer cases detected each year on average in the UK.

Of these, nearly two in five (38 per cent) cases are preventable, having been triggered by long term factors like smoking or obesity.

Cancer survival rates, while useful to demonstrate different health outcomes for varying types of the disease are an overall figure and don’t reflect the specific details of each case.

For example, the data doesn’t differentiate cancer survival by the stage the disease was spotted.

Patients whose cancers are spotted earlier typically have greater chance of treatment being more effective than a patient whose disease is only found in its later, and possibly final, stages.

The data also doesn’t account for differences between patients themselves. 

Younger patients, who typically have fewer long running health problems than older ones, can suffer fewer or less severe health complications from their disease or treatment which can influence survival rates. 

The CRUK lifetime risk of cancer is based on Brits born in the 1960s.

There are over 200 different kinds of cancer and symptoms vary by type.

However, the NHS advises that some of the most common signs include a new lump that suddenly appears, unexplained bleeding, and changes to bowel habits.

Others include a cough or bloating lasting three weeks or more, changes in moles, unexplained weight loss, or jaundice where the skin and eyes turn a yellow tinge. 

This list is not universal, and the health service urges anyone with a change in their body that worries them to contact their GP.

In many cases such a symptom or symptoms will not be caused by cancer.

However, the NHS says it is important to get these checked out just in case, as well as addressing other potential health conditions which might be causing the problem. 

Kate’s cancer battle in her own words: The Princess of Wales’ emotional video statement in full 

I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you, personally, for all the wonderful messages of support and for your understanding whilst I have been recovering from surgery.

It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family, but I’ve had a fantastic medical team who have taken great care of me, for which I am so grateful.

In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. The surgery was successful. However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present. My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment.

This of course came as a huge shock, and William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family.

As you can imagine, this has taken time. It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment. But, most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to

George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be ok.

As I have said to them; I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal; in my mind, body and spirits.

Having William by my side is a great source of comfort and reassurance too. As is the love, support and kindness that has been shown by so many of you. It means so much to us both.

We hope that you will understand that, as a family, we now need some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment. My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy and I look forward to being back when I am able, but for now I must focus on making a full recovery.

At this time, I am also thinking of all those whose lives have been affected by cancer. For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone.

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