22 April 2015
Macmillan Cancer Support says those living with cancer and another long term condition are more likely to have practical, personal and emotional needs than others with the disease.
There are an estimated 1.8 million people in the UK who have cancer and at least one other long term health condition, such as hypertension, obesity, or chronic kidney disease, according to new research [i] released today by Macmillan Cancer Support.
The research commissioned by Macmillan and undertaken by Monitor Deloitte shows that 70 per cent of people with cancer are also living with a long term condition, and that people with cancer are 31 per cent more likely than people without the disease to be living with a long term condition, even after taking age into account [ii].
The research also found that around 700,000 people are living with cancer and three or more long term conditions.
Macmillan has previously learned that living with a long term condition is likely to reduce a person with cancer’s chance of survival[iii] as well as increasing their need for support[iv]. Today it warns of an urgent need for health and social services to provide a holistic person-centred approach for people with cancer. It estimates that the overall number of people with cancer and another long term condition could swell by one million over the next 15 years [i], placing a major strain on the NHS and local authorities.
The research comes a month after the charity warned that a lack of social care support was leaving hundreds of thousands of people with cancer housebound, and unable to wash or dress themselves.
Juliet Bouverie, Director of Services & Influencing at Macmillan Cancer Support, says:
“Our research paints a grim picture where huge numbers of people living with cancer are also contending with at least one other long term condition. This means people have individual and complex needs and our health and social care system urgently needs to reflect this. We need to care for the whole person, not just treat single diseases and their individual symptoms separately.
“The face of cancer is changing; it is no longer just a case of being cured or dying from the disease. Instead, people are living with cancer and most of them are managing this alongside other conditions which may seriously affect their lives.
“A holistic needs assessment which identifies those living with complex needs has to be available to all people with cancer. A comprehensive recovery package will then support them to manage their health as they look to get their lives back to a new sense of normality after a cancer diagnosis.
“The upcoming General Election and the development of a cancer strategy for England offer a unique opportunity to ensure that decision makers readdress the way that people with cancer are supported.”
Macmillan is calling on the next government to prioritise cancer care and is working with an independent Cancer Taskforce to ensure that the needs of people living with and dying from cancer – beyond diagnosis and treatment - are addressed in an updated cancer strategy for England.
Gary Tanner, 62, from Somerset was diagnosed with cancer for the second time in 2013. He says:
'First I had throat cancer and then mouth cancer, and I really thought maybe this was the one I couldn’t beat, but I’m doing well and the prognosis is good. The problem is that lymphoedema, tinnitus, and chronic arthritis are just some of the side effects of my cancer treatment which are permanent and life-long.
‘I try to live with it all but dealing with several conditions at the same time has been depressing and incapacitating. I’m tremendously happy to be alive but know that I will rely on medical professionals for the rest of my life.’
For further information, please contact:
Patrick Pringle, Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
0207 840 4891 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
[i] Research undertaken by Monitor Deloitte, commissioned by Macmillan Cancer Support. An extensive review identified ‘best available’ data from different care settings and perspectives. No single source provides definitive data on the prevalence of LTCs amongst the UK public and people living with cancer. UK-wide estimates in this document are therefore derived from the following ‘best available’ sources to estimate the population living with with cancer and another long term condition:
• Patient-reported data from Health Survey England and Scottish Health Survey, 2012
• Primary care data from Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) summary records, 2012-13
• Secondary care data from Hospital Episode Statistics, 2003-12
To be considered long-term for the purposes of this analysis, a condition had to satisfy the following criteria. It must:
• Be a symptom or morbidity, and;
• Prevent the individual leading a ‘normal’ life, by being:
o A chronic condition where there is a need for active management, or;
o An acute condition leading to residual disability, and;
• Last longer than one year, and;
• Have been recorded :
o At any time during the patient’s life, or;
o Between three years pre-cancer diagnosis and seven years post-cancer diagnosis for LTCs being actively treated within secondary care during cancer survivorship
We assume that these data sources are representative of the rest of the UK and apply the proportion of LTCs in the cancer population by age to total cancer prevalence figures to derive our estimate of 1.8 million for 2015 and future projections. See executive summary for more details of the sources and analysis.http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Documents/Press/Cancerandotherlong-termconditions.pdf
[ii] Detail as per reference i. 70% of people with cancer are living with at least one other LTC, compared with 55% of the general population (rounded figures). The figure for people with cancer is around 15 percentage points, or 31% (for the non-rounded figures), greater than the figure for the general population
[iii] Macmillan Cancer Support. Routes from Diagnosis research programme. Unpublished data. For breast cancer patients aged 65-69 with a pre-diagnosis adapted Charlson Index score of 1, 34% die within seven years of diagnosis, compared with 25% of those aged 65-69 with a pre-diagnosis adapted Charlson index score of 0 (the difference in percentage points, 9%, represents a 35% increase). In the context of Routes from Diagnosis, an adapted Charlson index score of 1 means the person has one of the following conditions recorded in their inpatient hospital record in the 27 months prior to their cancer diagnosis: myocardial infarct (heart attack), congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, dementia, cerebrovascular disease, chronic lung disease, connective tissue disease, ulcer, chronic liver disease or diabetes. A score of 0 means that the person does not have any of these conditions recorded in their inpatient hospital record in the 27 months prior to their cancer diagnosis. For an overview of the main findings from phase one of Routes from Diagnosis, see: Macmillan Cancer Support. Routes from Diagnosis: The most detailed map of cancer survivorship yet. April 2014. http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Documents/AboutUs/Research/Researchandevaluationreports/Routes-from-diagnosis-report.pdf
[iv] Unpublished data from Macmillan Cancer Support/mruk research study comprising of:
• A UK-wide survey of 1,037 people living with cancer and their carers (209 people in treatment, 573 people with cancer diagnosed up to 10 years previously, and 255 current or recently bereaved carers of people at the end of life). 219 interviews out of the 1,037 were conducted with people living with cancer in Scotland.
• 24 in-depth face-to-face interviews
• 15 week-long online diaries
The data show that 44% of people with cancer who have other long-term conditions report having needs that could be classified as ‘critical’ or ‘substantial’ according to the former England’s Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) criteria. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland use similar criteria, although precise definitions differ., compared with 35% of those with no other conditions. For an overview of the main findings from the research, see: Macmillan Cancer Support. Hidden at home: The social care needs of people with cancer. March 2015. http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Documents/GetInvolved/Campaigns/Carers/hidden-at-home.pdf
About Macmillan Cancer Support
When you have cancer, you don’t just worry about what will happen to your body, you worry about what will happen to your life. Whether it’s concerns about who you can talk to, planning for the extra costs or what to do about work, at Macmillan we understand how a cancer diagnosis can take over everything.
That’s why we’re here. We provide support that helps people take back control of their lives. But right now, we can’t reach everyone who needs us. We need your help to make sure that people affected by cancer get the support they need to face the toughest fight of their life. No one should face cancer alone, and with your support no one will.
To get involved, call 0300 1000 200 today. And please remember, we’re here for you too. If you’d like support, information or just to chat, call us free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk