Cancer survival 'six times better than four decades ago'

25 November 2011

Cancer survivors are living up to six times longer than those 40 years ago, according to new figures from Macmillan Cancer Support.

Statistics from the charity showed that some types of cancer have improved their survival rates while others - such as lung and stomach cancer - have had a "woeful" lack of progress.

In an analysis of survival times and estimates for 20 cancers going back four decades, the team of researchers found that there was a discrepancy between different cancers where they would expect progress to be relatively similar for the whole of the UK.

The charity's chief executive Ciaran Devane said: "It is median survival times that give an accurate new picture of how long people might expect to live with different cancers. Finally we can answer the big question: 'How long have I got?'."

He added that the median cancer survival results showed an average life extension of six years.

There has been a large increase in the number of people diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Mr Devane continued.

Risk factors for the type of disease include a low immune system, previous cancer treatment and celiac disease, Macmillan stated.

Posted by Philip Briggs

 

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