4 April 2014
New report reveals shocking variation in survival and the long-term impact on survivors’ health for breast, prostate, lung and brain cancers
Lung cancer survivors in England alive five years after diagnosis are ten times more likely to develop a new cancer than those with breast or prostate cancer, according to a new report out today (Friday 4th) by Macmillan Cancer Support1.
The Cancer’s Unequal Burden report – based on research by Macmillan in partnership with Monitor Deloitte and Public Health England’s National Cancer Intelligence Network – reveals the shocking variation in lung, breast, prostate and brain cancer survival and the risk of developing another type of cancer or long-term health condition.
Despite the fact that one- and five-year survival rates for breast and prostate cancer have improved significantly in recent years2, this research shows that only one in five (20%) women with breast cancer and one in four (25%) men with prostate cancer will actually survive both long-term and in good health3. The picture is even worse for people with lung or the most common form of brain cancer, glioblastoma4, for whom less than 1% survive long-term and in good health.
The research also shows that some cancer survivors5 are at an increased risk of developing other serious health conditions. For example, people with prostate or breast cancer have an increased risk (60% and 40% respectively) of being diagnosed with genitourinary problems such as infertility or incontinence.
Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, says:
'The cancer story has changed and it’s complicated. These findings reveal such stark variations between what happens to people after they are diagnosed with different types of cancer, which makes the case for taking action even more urgent than before.
'Cancer is not just one disease, and therefore there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment and aftercare. The NHS needs to get much better at using robust data to understand the complex needs of people with different cancers so that services can be planned accordingly. It’s no good papering over the cracks any longer, we need a complete system overhaul.'
Macmillan Cancer Support is urging NHS leaders and GPs to adopt the solutions in the Cancer’s Unequal Burden report and use the research to better plan cancer services. These include:
• Improving early diagnosis
• Providing equal access to the best available treatment
• Implementing the ‘cancer recovery package’
• Encouraging people with cancer to be physically active.
No-one should face cancer alone. If you need information or support, please call 0808 808 00 00 or visit www.macmillan.org.uk.
For further information, please contact:
Claire Keuls, Senior Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
020 7840 4872 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
1 Macmillan Cancer Support (2014), Routes from Diagnosis: Painting the most detailed picture of cancer survivorship yet. The research provides a retrospective analysis of almost 85,000 cancer patients’ interactions with the NHS in England over a seven-year period (2004-2011). Lung cancer survivors alive five years after diagnosis have 300% increased risk of developing a new type of cancer compared with a 30% increased risk for prostate and breast cancer survivors. http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Documents/AboutUs/Research/Researchandevaluationreports/Routes-from-diagnosis-report.pdf
2 NCIN. 2013. Prostate Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Survival Rates in the United Kingdom. ONS. 2013. Breast cancer incidence, mortality and survival, England, 1971–2011.
3 Here long-term is defined as surviving at least seven years after diagnosis and good health is defined as not having other health conditions serious enough to require a stay in hospital and remaining free of cancer during the follow-up period as detected using Cancer Registry and Inpatient Hospital Episode Statistics only. Outpatient Hospital Episode Statistics were not available for the study.
4 Cancer Research UK. Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours incidence statistics http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/types/brain/incidence/uk-brain-and-central-nervous-system-cancer-incidence-statistics#By6 Glioblastoma accounts for around 27% of all brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours diagnosed between 2006 and 2010.
5 Alive five years after diagnosis.
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