31 August 2016
Responding to new data from Public Health England published in The Lancet Oncology today which reveals the proportion of people who die within 30 days of being treated with chemotherapy, Professor Jane Maher, Joint Chief Medical Officer at Macmillan Cancer Support, says:
“Chemotherapy is a crucial part of cancer treatment, having had an enormous impact on rising survival rates over the years. However, it can result in severe long-term side effects such as the risk of heart or lung problems later in life. It’s important that the full impact is considered when administering something so powerful.
“This is why it’s concerning to see that the risk of death following chemotherapy intended to cure non-small cell lung cancer is almost four times as high as previously thought.
“Access to this real–world data is crucial for health professionals to help them better understand the delicate balancing act when comparing the risk of death or severe side effects and the potential increase in survival if chemotherapy is administered. It’s also important that patients are as well-informed as possible to help them make decisions around their treatment.”
For further information, please contact:
Jess Owen, Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
02070912407 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
1.The Lancet Oncology paper30-day mortality after systemic anticancer treatment for breast and lung cancer in England: a population-based, observational study can be found here: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045(16)30383-7/abstract
2. Early death rates from clinical trials in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer with curative intent are around 0.8%. The new study found a death rate of nearer 3% across the NHS.
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