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Cancer can develop at any age. But as we get older, most types of cancer become more common.
This is because our cells can get damaged over time. This damage can then build up as we age, and can sometimes lead to cancer.
The older we get, the more likely we are to develop cancer.
1 in 2 people will get cancer in their lifetime - one of the main reasons for this being that people are living longer. Half of all cancers are in people over the age of 70.
But getting older doesn’t mean you will definitely get cancer.
Over time, the cells in our body can become damaged. This can happen by chance when cells are dividing as usual. It’s also caused by things from outside the body such as chemicals from cigarette smoke or UV rays from the sun.
Often this damage can be fixed by our body. But sometimes the damage builds up and can cause cells to grow and multiply more than usual, causing cancer.
As we age, there’s more time for damage in our cells to build up, and so more chance that some of this damage might eventually lead to cancer.
The good news is survival is on the up. And thanks to research, treatments are now kinder and more effective than ever.
Things like stopping smoking, keeping a healthy weight, eating a healthy balanced diet, staying safe in the sun, drinking less alcohol, and keeping active can all help reduce the risk of cancer. And it’s never too late to make changes.