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Macmillan is working in partnership with the Department of Health| and Age UK| on a project to improve access to treatment for older people with cancer.
Read the project report Cancer Services Coming of Age| [PDF 2.63MB.]
Just over half of all people newly diagnosed with cancer in the UK are over 70 years old.
We're concerned that the UK has some of the worst survival rates in Europe for older people. Although late presentation and diagnosis plays a part, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that older people with cancer are under-treated.
This may explain why, while mortality rates are improving significantly for the under-75s, they are improving at a much slower rate in those aged 74-84 and actually getting worse for those aged 85 and over.
The project has identified key areas of good practice. Age friendly cancer services will:
We’ve launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the complex issues which contribute to under-treatment in the older population.
The Age Old Excuse campaign| stresses that treatment recommendations should take into consideration biological age (i.e. health and fitness) as opposed to chronological age. We recognise that over-treatment is just as undesirable as under-treatment.
The campaign aims to ensure that older people get the most appropriate treatment and care that’s right for them.
For more information on patient age and oncology, download the Department of Health’s The Impact of Patient Age on Clinical Decision Making in Oncology report|.
For more facts and figures on older people and cancer, read our older people’s rich picture [PDF 2.7MB]|.
Access All Ages| was published in 2012 by Age UK and the Royal College of Surgeons. It looks at intervention rates for a number of surgical procedures, and discusses some of the reasons for variation by age
We’d love to hear your views on how to improve cancer care for older people.
If you would like to share your story with us please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org|.
Call Hazel Brodie on 020 7840 4668 Email email@example.com|
Fax 020 7840 7841
Write to Macmillan Cancer Support, 89 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7UQ
If you have any questions about Macmillan we would love to hear from you| .
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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