Can­cer sur­vival rates up but ‘still low in some types’

South Wales Echo - - NEWS -

SUR­VIVAL rates for can­cer in Wales are higher than ever be­fore – but the coun­try is still lag­ging be­hind Eng­land and North­ern Ire­land in some types of the dis­ease.

New fig­ures from Pub­lic Health Wales show im­prove­ments against both oneyear and five-year sur­vival rates.

Be­tween 2010 and 2014, 72.7% of can­cer pa­tients were sur­viv­ing one year af­ter di­ag­no­sis.

That’s an in­crease on 69.4% for 2005-09, 65.9% for 2000-04 and 60.7% for 1995-99.

And more than half (57.1%) of can­cer pa­tients were still alive five years af­ter their di­ag­no­sis, an im­prove­ment on 53.8% in 2005-09, 49.7% in 2000-04 and 43.9% in 1995-99.

But can­cer char­i­ties have warned that sur­vival rates re­main “stub­bornly low” in some can­cer types.

Liver, lung and pan­creas can­cer had the worst sur­vival rates in 2010-14, while pa­tients were sta­tis­ti­cally more likely to sur­vive over one or five years if they had melanoma (skin), prostate and breast can­cer.

De­spite liver can­cer hav­ing the third worst out­comes of any form of can­cer, it saw the great­est im­prove­ment – up from 26.7% in 2005-09 to 36.3% in 2010-14.

Can­cer of the brain and cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem (up 8.2 per­cent­age points), kid­ney (7.4) and ovary (6.1) also saw the great­est im­prove­ment in the pe­riod. Over five years, ovary (6.1), kid­ney (5.8) and melanoma (5.6) im­proved the most be­tween 2005-09 and 2010-14.

Dr Tom Crosby, med­i­cal di­rec­tor of the Wales Can­cer Net­work and Con­sul­tant On­col­o­gist at Velin­dre Can­cer Cen­tre said: “It is pleas­ing to see this small but mean­ing­ful in­crease in sur­vival, es­pe­cially in can­cers such as lung, where there has been a fo­cus on im­proved out­comes for pa­tients.

“This to­gether with the re­cent Wales Pa­tient Ex­pe­ri­ence Sur­vey is due to the hard work and com­mit­ment of clin­i­cal staff in pri­mary care and hos­pi­tals through­out Wales.

“Al­though these lat­est sta­tis­tics sound pos­i­tive, there is a long way to go be­fore we match the best in Europe.

“It is there­fore im­por­tant that clin­i­cians con­tinue to work to­gether with the NHS and the Welsh Gov­ern­ment to im­prove can­cer sur­vival in Wales.”

Can­cer reg­istries across the UK are now us­ing a com­mon method to pro­duce sur­vival fig­ures, which means Wales has been di­rectly com­pared with Eng­land and North­ern Ire­land for the first time.

Scot­land will pub­lish their data in Novem­ber 2017.

While, in most cases, the per­cent­ages are very mar­ginal, Wales has per­formed worse than Eng­land in the sur­vival rates of many can­cer types in 2010-14.

Among the one-year sur­vival rate for men, Wales per­formed worse than Eng­land in prostate, melanoma, bowel, non-hodgkin lym­phoma, kid­ney, oe­soph­a­gus, and lung can­cer.

It was a sim­i­lar pic­ture for women, with Wales only beating Eng­land’s sur­vival rate on blad­der and lung can­cers.

But Pub­lic Health Wales con­cluded that there were no “sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant” dif­fer­ences in five-year sur­vival be­tween Wales and Eng­land for any of the can­cer types, in either men or women.

Macmil­lan Wales has called for changes to the can­cer work­force as the new fig­ures have re­vealed a long-term trend of in­creas­ing num­bers of peo­ple be­ing di­ag­nosed.

Some 19,088 new cases of can­cer were di­ag­nosed in Wales dur­ing 2015 – a 10% in­crease com­pared to 10 years ear­lier.

With the num­ber of new can­cer cases now also peak­ing in 65 to 69-year-olds – 10 years younger than in 2006 – con­cern has also been raised about how this will im­pact on the long-term qual­ity of life of peo­ple af­fected by can­cer.

Su­san Mor­ris, head of ser­vices for Macmil­lan in Wales, said: “The story of can­cer is thank­fully chang­ing. Peo­ple are liv­ing longer af­ter a can­cer di­ag­no­sis. But whether its emo­tional, fi­nan­cial, phys­i­cal and prac­ti­cal – we need to en­sure ev­ery­one af­fected by can­cer re­ceives the sup­port, in­for­ma­tion and ad­vice they need not just to live, but to live well with a can­cer di­ag­no­sis.

“While these lat­est sta­tis­tics are pos­i­tive, we also have to ac­knowl­edge that there is a long way to go be­fore we match the best can­cer out­comes al­ready be­ing achieved in Europe.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.