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Saturday 24th August 2019

Cancer sufferers are living longer than they were in the 1970s

29th April 2014

Cancer Research UK have studied cancer statistics in England and Wales. They found that the likelihood of living a decade post-diagnosis is twice as likely (50%) as it was in the 1970s (25%).


Researchers said cancer no longer needed to be viewed as a 'death sentence' as it once was, and rather as a 'chronic condition'.

Despite the great progress made so far, the charity feel there is potential for more improvement. They want to see the ten-year-survival rate increased to 75% in the next 20 years. They have promised to help achieve this with increased investment.

This target acknowledges the greater services in other western nations, especially with early diagnosis. For example, the Eurocare Five study published in the Lancet in December last year revealed the UK was doing significantly worse in terms of colon, kidney, ovary, stomach and lung cancers.

Not all cancers are the same

Cancer Research UK identified three key features directives that could increase these numbers:

  • personalised treatment
  • reducing smoking rate
  • paying special attention to cancers with the lowest survival rate*

*Some cancers have a very small survival rate. 1% of pancreatic and 5% of lung cancer patients can expect to survive for ten years.

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