Here at Macmillan, we believe that age is just a number. It’s not an excuse to treat older people with cancer differently. That’s why we want to make sure older people are offered cancer treatment and care based on their needs, not on their age.
New research shows that Older lung cancer patients are five times less likely to have surgery that younger patients.
In line with this, England and Wales have the worst five-year survival rates for lung cancer in Europe among the over 75s.
Read our Press Release.
We are calling for:
Older people to be offered treatment and care based on their fitness rather than their age
Services to be made accessible to meet the needs of older people
Staff to be given the time and training needed to provide the best possible care
But we can't do it alone. We need your support. Take our campaign pledge calling on health and social care providers to change the record.
But we can't do it alone. We need your support. Take our campaign pledge
calling on health and social care providers to change the record.
To stay up to date with our campaigns, you can sign up as a Macmillan e-campaigner
. We'll send you our newsletter and email you with opportunities to support our campaigns.
Fill in your details in the form below to pledge your support for our Age Old Excuse campaign.
We've created a campaign film featuring Patrick Stewart which highlights why older people should be treated as individuals. Watch it here.
What's the issue?
We all have different needs and older people are no exception. Some are frail, whilst others are fit and active.
Regardless of age, everyone should get the treatment that’s right for them.
But the UK has some of the worst cancer survival rates in Europe for older people. Every year there are around 14,000 avoidable cancer deaths in people over 75 . One of the reasons for this is that they are sometimes not offered the right treatment.
For example, studies have shown that breast cancer patients over 70 are much less likely to receive surgery than those under 70 . And stories we are hearing directly from older people with cancer and health professionals are also worrying.
Read more about our work with health professionals on this issue.
Read stories from older people about their cancer experiences.
If you are affected by this issue, we're here for you
For cancer support every step of the way call the Macmillan team free on:
0808 808 0000.
You can reach us Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm.
Find out more
Macmillan has launched a report outlining what health and social care providers in England must do to improve care of older people with cancer. Read it in our health professionals section.
If you’re an older person affected by cancer, or you know someone who is, visit our cancer and older people pages. You can also order our cancer and older people booklet for extra support during your care and treatment.