5 December 2014
Responding to research published by CRUK and NCIN that younger cancer patients are more likely to have surgery for 19 cancer types than older people, with the largest differences between age groups seen in kidney and ovarian cancers, Duleep Allirajah, Head of Policy at Macmillan Cancer Support says:
“This is yet more upsetting evidence that older cancer patients in England are getting a raw deal, despite the fact that half of people diagnosed with cancer are in this age bracket.
“England has some of the worst cancer survival rates in Europe and the gap gets far wider when you compare the older age groups. We already know that these poor results are particularly apparent for kidney and ovarian cancer and today we can see that older people also have the biggest drop off in surgery rates.
“We don’t yet have a full picture of why older people in England have such a poor chance at surviving cancer, but not getting access to the right treatment, such as surgery is certainly a factor.
“If politicians are serious about tackling inequalities in the care of older people, action needs to be taken to ensure every person with cancer is able to access the best treatment regardless of their age. Next year’s general election is the perfect opportunity to do this and Macmillan is urging all political parties to commit in their manifestos to improving cancer survival rates in England, especially for older people.”
For further information, please contact:
Charlotte Morris, Media and PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support>
0207 091 2467 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
 64% of cancer diagnosis in 2012 were in patients 65 or older (Office of National Statistics. Cancer Registration Statistics, England, 2012. http://
(accessed December 2014)
 The difference between survival rates in England and the European average increases with age. Eurocare 5 Survival Analysis 2000 – 2007.
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