Academic research posters

We have brought together our research poster portfolio to show evidence that’s been funded, commissioned or produced either by Macmillan Cancer Support or by our partners. Our work looks at the numbers, needs and experiences of people at every stage of the cancer journey from diagnosis all the way to end of life.

The first section sets out our research and analysis of the UK’s cancer population. Later sections focus on diagnosis, treatment and recovery, living with and beyond cancer, and end of life.

National Cancer Research Institute Conference 2019 posters

The bigger picture

Much of the research Macmillan produces, commissions or funds is focused on the scale of cancer as an issue and the effect it has on people’s lives, throughout their cancer journey and beyond. So, as well as looking at the number of people living with cancer we also focus on the emotional, physical, mental and financial implications that receiving a cancer diagnosis can have – both on the individual and society as a whole.


Earlier and faster cancer diagnosis is a key policy priority across the UK. We know that earlier diagnosis and better symptom recognition are crucial to improving survival. We also know that diagnosis can be difficult to deal with emotionally and that access and communication of the right information is key.

Given we’re due to see a significant increase in the number of people affected by cancer, it is imperative that we support improvements in early diagnosis. This can be achieved by continuing to work with the healthcare system to ensure that we have the right intelligence and interventions.

Treatment and recovery

The effects of cancer and its treatment can impact people’s lives in many different ways. It can also affect them for weeks, months or even years after treatment has ended.

Treatment can be a difficult and draining time, physically and emotionally. Our research shows that the needs of people affected by cancer go beyond just medical. Fatigue, money worries, access to information, emotional and psychological needs are also big factors. We also know that decisions made during treatment can have an effect on people’s lives that go beyond their cancer.

Posters in this section explore the importance of patient experience and evidence regarding Macmillan’s Recovery Package and associated interventions.

Living with and beyond cancer

More people than ever before are living beyond their active treatment. The impact of cancer does not suddenly stop when the treatment is over with approximately one in four people facing poor health or disability more than a year after diagnosis. Some of the consequences of cancer treatment can include chronic fatigue, sexual difficulties, mental health problems, pain, urinary and gastrointestinal problems, and lymphoedema.

Problems such as these affect people’s lives more than is generally recognised and are often poorly dealt with. Although many people return to a high level of wellbeing after cancer treatment, a significant minority have unmet needs that will increasingly impact on primary and secondary care unless action is taken.

End of life

Death, dying and bereavement affects us all. Over 569,000 people die in the UK every year with cancer being the cause of 28% of these deaths. Currently, too many people die without adequate pain relief or involvement in vital decisions about their end of life care, including where they would like to spend their final days.

Although almost 80% of people want to die at home, only 30% are able to do so due to a lack of support. If nothing is done by 2020, we estimate that 1.3 million people will have had their last wish denied.