Macmillan points out ‘worrying’ failure to increase cancer survival in England

In 2017, approximately 45,800 women and 320 men were diagnosed with breast cancer; 41,200 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer and about 12,000 men and 11,200 women with colon cancer. For the three cancers, over time there were insignificant differences in one-year and five-year survival rates. Bladder cancer went from 57.1% 5-year survival rate in 2008-2012 down to 52.6% in 2013-17. In 2017, approximately 6,300 men and 2,400 women were diagnosed with bladder cancer.

The NHS long-term plan aims to increase the percentage of cancers being diagnosed at stages 1 and 2 from 50% to 75% in 2028 – this is to try and increase survival rates.

Head of policy development at charity Cancer Research UK commented: “We need to see changes at a much faster rate if we’re going to catch up with other countries.

“Early diagnosis is key to giving patients the best chance of survival – but the NHS is struggling to meet rising demand due to chronic staff shortages in key areas. The government must invest in more staff to diagnose and treat cancer, or the ambition to diagnose 75% of cancers at an early stage by 2028 won’t be met.”

Full article in The Guardian, 12 August 2019