London: Being diagnosed with cancer is now a more common life event than getting married or having the first baby, a research in the UK has found.
Researchers found that there are over 70,000 more new cases of cancer each year in the UK than new marriages.
Latest figures also show there are almost 50,000 more new cases of cancer each year in England and Wales than women giving birth to their first child.
According to the report from UK-based charity Macmillan Cancer Support, similar number of undergraduate degrees awarded each year in the UK compared with new cases of cancer.
Cancer affects many people at the prime of their life. More than 1.2 million people have been diagnosed with cancer under the age of 65 in the past 10 years, including more than 340,000 diagnosed in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
The research found that while receiving a cancer diagnosis is an increasingly common life event, it is the disease people most fear getting.
For one in 10 people in the UK, cancer is the biggest fear of all, ahead of losing a loved one, their own death or even terrorism.
The report highlights that people's perceptions and fears around cancer can be unhelpful in supporting them to understand their choices when they are diagnosed.
When they were first told they had cancer, one in three people (34 per cent) said they were in a daze and could not take anything in.
As one in two people will get cancer at some point in their lives and more and more people are living longer after cancer, researchers wanted the public to have a better understanding of the reality of a cancer diagnosis.
"Being told you have cancer changes your life, and it can leave people feeling as if they've been thrust into the unknown, bewildered and unprepared," said Lynda Thomas, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support.
"But as more and more people are being diagnosed with cancer, it is important that we are all better informed about what to expect if we do one day we receive this shocking news," Thomas said.