Cancer rates are increasing at such a rate that research shows 42% of people who die in this country will have had a cancer diagnosis. And for most of them (64%), it is cancer which causes their death.*
The number of people living with cancer has also increased in the UK by 35% in the last ten years from 1.5 to two million in 2008**. This is due to more people getting cancer and, as treatment improves, people are surviving longer with cancer.
But whilst people are certainly living longer than ever with cancer, they are not necessarily living well.
New data from a Macmillan Cancer Supportstudyshows many have on-going, long term health problems.
The study shows that of those colorectal cancer patients still alive between five and seven years after their diagnosis***:
– Two thirds (64%) will have an on-going health problem.
– A fifth (22%) will have advanced cancers ****.
– Going on half (42%) will be living with on-going health problems like cardio vascular and intestinal illnesses
Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support said: “It is really alarming that the number of people who will get cancer is now well past one in three and that there are so many more people with cancer today than even ten years ago. The NHS really needs to recognise this long term impact and adapt their services to reflect this.
“There are currently two million people living with cancer in the UK and that number is doubling to four million over the next twenty years*****. Yet no one thinks the country can afford to double its spending on cancer. We’ve therefore got to become twice as effective in how we spend that money.
“We have a massive challenge ahead if we are to keep up with the relentless toll cancer takes on people’s health, and the NHS must rise to it.”