THE number of people diagnosed with cancer in Scotland has risen by 28% in over 35 years, it has emerged.

In 2011, there were more than 30,000 people diagnosed with some form of the disease, among the highest since records began, Cancer Research UK said.

It revealed the rate of cancer diagnosis was 6.25% higher in Scotland than in the rest of the UK. In Scotland there were 425 cases per 100,000 of population, while for the whole UK it was 400 per 100,000. Across the UK, more than 330,000 people were diagnosed with some form of the disease in 2011.

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Politicians, patient groups and cancer charities have called for action to curb the curse of cancer in Scotland.

Cancer Research said the main reason for the increase in cases was the ageing population. As there are more people living longer, more will develop the disease.

A spokesman said: "While more people than ever are being diagnosed with cancer, research has led to more people surviving the disease. Survival has doubled in the past 40 years, thanks to improvements in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer."

Cancer Research UK's spokeswoman in Scotland, Linda Summerhayes, said: "These figures reinforce the vital need for more research to better prevent, treat and cure cancer. Research is the only way we'll be able to reduce the devastating impact of the disease. One day we will beat cancer. The more research we do, the sooner that day will come."

Scottish Patients Association chairman Margaret Watt said: "There has to be more research, there needs to be more money put into services, we need to get on top of it, and we need to treat people as soon as we know they have got that illness."

Scottish Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw added: "With more people requiring treatment for cancer it's critical the SNP focuses on health as a number one priority, instead of obsessing about the constitutional matters which are dominating."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "When it comes to cancer, we are determined to taking all the necessary action to improve earlier diagnosis, advance the treatments available to patients and invest in staff and equipment."