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Theresa May will unveil plans to use artificial intelligence to help prevent 22,000 cancer deaths a year by 2033.

In a speech setting out how science can transform health, the prime minister will also say at least 50,000 people each year with prostate, ovarian, lung or bowel cancer will be diagnosed at an earlier stage than they would have been.

Speaking in Macclesfield, Cheshire, Mrs May will say: "Late diagnosis of otherwise treatable illnesses is one of the biggest causes of avoidable deaths.

"And the development of smart technologies to analyse great quantities of data quickly and with a higher degree of accuracy than is possible by human beings opens up a whole new field of medical research and gives us a new weapon in our armoury in the fight against disease.

"Achieving this mission will not only save thousands of lives. It will incubate a whole new industry around AI-in-healthcare, creating high-skilled science jobs across the country, drawing on existing centres of excellence in places like Edinburgh, Oxford and Leeds – and helping to grow new ones."

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All of the data and technological advances needed to help cut cancer deaths are available but a system has not yet been set up to bring everything together.

Medical records, along with information about patients' habits and genetics, will be cross-referenced with national data to spot those at an early stage of cancer.

Mrs May will also announce another target to ensure that five more years of people's lives will be healthy, independent and active by 2035.

Around £1.4bn has already been invested in research and development for the "grand challenges" programme the targets are being set under.

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Sir Harpal Kumar, chief executive officer of Cancer Research, said: "The government's mission to revolutionise healthcare using the power of artificial intelligence is pioneering. Advances in detection technologies depend on the intelligent use of data and have the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives every year.

"We need to ensure we have the right infrastructure, embedded in our health system, to make this possible."

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