25 April 2017
‘Unprecedented’ numbers of cancer cases over past five years, new analysis shows
Macmillan calls for the next government to invest in the NHS workforce to support growing number of people with cancer
The number of people diagnosed with cancer each year in the UK has increased by more than 25,000 in the last five years, new analysis from Macmillan Cancer Support shows.
Macmillan says that this increase is putting the NHS under more pressure than ever before. The charity is calling for a clear and ambitious plan on how the NHS will develop a workforce that can meet the changing needs of a growing cancer population.
It’s vital that health and social care staff are equipped with the capacity, confidence, and skills to meet the rising demand and ensure that NHS cancer care is sustainable over the next five years and beyond.
New analysis shows1:
• During 2015, 359,734 people in the UK received a cancer diagnosis, compared to 332,840 new cases in 2010.
• The number of people who have been diagnosed with cancer has increased by more than a third over the last two decades, with almost 100,000 more patients being delivered the news in 2015 compared with 1995
Lynda Thomas, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “The NHS faces a huge challenge to provide the level of care, treatment and expertise cancer patients need as the unprecedented demand continues to increase. Going through cancer treatment is a nerve wracking and exhausting experience, and patients need the right healthcare professionals by their side.
“At a time when services are already stretched, doctors, nurses and medical professionals working in cancer care show incredible dedication and commitment to their roles. But the current pressures they face day to day are completely unsustainable in the long run.
“The next Government must ensure that health and social care staff are equipped with the capacity, confidence and skills so that the growing number of people with cancer get the best possible care and treatment they can.”
The rise in the number of people getting cancer is down to a number of factors including an increasing and ageing population - around two thirds of people diagnosed are over the age of 65. There are also improved diagnostic tools available for medical professionals to pick up on cancer cases and deliver effective treatment when required.
Macmillan Cancer Support provides help, advice and information from diagnosis and through treatment for people with cancer. Visit macmillan.org.uk for more information.
For further information, please contact:
Jude Peppis, Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
0207 840 4651 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to editors
- Total figures for the UK calculated from the following sources – England: Office for National Statistics. Cancer registration statistics, England: first release, 2015. February 2017. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/firstrelease2015 (accessed March 2017) and Office for National Statistics. Cancer registration statistics, England: final release, 2014. https://www.ons.gov.uk/file?uri=/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/datasets/cancerregistrationstatisticscancerregistrationstatisticsengland/2014/cancerregistrationstatistics20162014datareferencetablesfinalinc.table13.xls (accessed April 2017). Scotland: ISD Scotland. Cancer statistics – Annual incidence. http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Cancer-Statistics/All-Types-of-Cancer/ (accessed April 2017). Wales: Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit. Cancer incidence in Wales – incidence extract. http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk/opendoc/302629 (accessed April 2017) and Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit. Cancer in Wales, 1995-2009: A Comprehensive Report. September 2011. http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/documents/1111/1%20Introduction.pdf (accessed April 2017). Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland Cancer Registry. All cancers – Incidence, prevalence and survival statistics: 1993-2015. http://qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/FileStore/OfficialStats2015/INCIDENCEFINALOUTPUTS/Filetoupload,746089,en.xls (accessed March 2017)
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
Media & PR Officer (Monday – Wednesday)
Macmillan Cancer Support
Direct line - 020 7840 4651