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Cancer Research UK predicts that three out of four people will survive their cancer by 2035

Posted: 21/12/2016

Following analysis carried out by the charity Cancer Research UK (CRUK), it is predicted that in the UK death rates from cancer will fall by 15% by 2035 due to advances in research, diagnosis and treatment, preventing more than 403,000 deaths from the disease.

Recently, there has been a rise in the number of Britons being diagnosed with cancer. CRUK believes that this is due in part to the rise in cancers linked to bad diet and alcohol, but also because the UK has an ageing and growing population. Improvements in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer will mean a decrease in the number of people who die from it.

Sir Harpal Kumar, CRUK’s chief executive, said: “Thanks to research, fewer people will die from cancer in the future. We’re resolute that, by 2035, three in four people will survive their cancer for at least 10 years. This will mean making more progress in breast, bowel and blood cancers, but also accelerating our effort in those cancers which are currently hard to treat.”

The death rate is expected to differ depending on the type of cancer. CRUK’s predictions are as follows: 

  • bowel cancer rates will fall by 23% over the next 20 years – from 32 to 25 deaths per 100,000 population; 
  • breast cancer rates are projected to drop by 26% to 31 per 100,000 women by 2035;
  • lung cancer rates will be 21% lower – at 58 deaths per 100,000 people;
  • deaths from pancreatic cancer are estimated to fall by only 3%, to 17 deaths per 100,000; and
  • brain and related tumours by just 2%, to 10 deaths per 100,000 people;
  • the mortality rate for liver cancer, however, is expected to rise by 58% by 2035.

This data has been extrapolated by applying the difference in the actual cancer mortality rates in 2014 and the projected age-standardised death rates for all cancers combined in the UK between 2015 and 2035 for the Office for National Statistics’ UK population projections over the study period.

Elise Bevan, a solicitor in the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches LLP, said: “These figures demonstrate significant advances in cancer care. The NHS has invested in research and the development of new drugs and surgical techniques and this is predicted to result in dramatic improvements. All of this is very positive but it is important to remember that one of the key things in survival prospects is early diagnosis. All too often we see cases where there has been an unacceptable delay in detection of the cancer. We hope that improved screening methods and processes will help to minimise the chances of this happening in the future.”

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