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Rise in teenage cancers

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A leading cancer expert has called for more education for teenagers and young adults on the prevention of cervical cancer.

Jillian Birch, professor of paediatric and familial cancer research at Manchester University, said education needed to be ‘targeted appropriately’ after research revealed a significant increase in the number of cases of the disease in young people.

Rates of cervical cancer in England increased by nearly 7% per year in 15-19 year olds, and by 1.4% per year in 20-24 year olds between 1979 and 2003, Ms Birch told an international cancer conference in London last week.

A similar trend was seen with malignant melanoma, which has seen a 4% yearly increase in 20-29 year olds over the same period.

Simon Davies, CEO at Teenage Cancer Trust, said: ‘More education is desperately needed so young people can change their behaviour before it’s too late.’

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