Cancer survival rates double in 40 years

Cancer survival rates have doubled since the 1970s, according to a new analysis commissioned by Cancer Research UK.

People diagnosed with breast, bowel and ovarian cancers and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are now twice as likely to survive for at least ten years as those diagnosed in the early 1970s.

The percentage of women likely to survive breast cancer for at least 10 years has increased from less than 40% to 77% while the proportion of people likely to survive bowel cancer has risen from 23% to 50%.

Professor Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK's chief clinician, said: "There are many reasons for our continuing success in the fight against cancer, including faster diagnosis, better surgery, more effective radiotherapy and many new drugs, all developed using the knowledge that our laboratory research has given us."

Improved survival rates mean that more people are living with the effects of a cancer diagnosis. Macmillan Cancer Support has highlighted the need for both the NHS and private insurers to invest in support for the millions of cancer survivors in the UK.

comments powered by Disqus