Can­cer sur­vival rates joy...if it’s caught early

Daily Express - - News - By Hanna Geissler Health Re­porter

PEO­PLE di­ag­nosed with skin, prostate or breast can­cer in the ear­li­est stages have the same chance of be­ing alive af­ter a year as the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion, fig­ures re­vealed yes­ter­day.

Ex­perts stressed that an early di­ag­no­sis not only dra­mat­i­cally im­proved the out­come of can­cer treat­ment but could act as a wake up call, prompt­ing men in par­tic­u­lar to im­prove their life­styles and gen­eral health.

The im­por­tance of early di­ag­no­sis was un­der­lined by the fact the five-year sur­vival rate for prostate can­cer in men plum­meted from no added risk if di­ag­nosed at Stage 1 to just 48 per cent if di­ag­nosed at Stage 4.

Karen Stal­bow, head of pol­icy, knowl­edge and im­pact at Prostate Can­cer UK, said: “These up­dated can­cer sur­vival sta­tis­tics re­it­er­ate the im­por­tance of catch­ing prostate can­cer early.

“Nearly 40 per cent of cases are still only caught at a late stage when the chances of liv­ing for five or ten years are greatly re­duced.”

She said the fact that sur­vival chances for men di­ag­nosed with lo­calised prostate can­cer ap­peared to be even slightly higher than men with­out a di­ag­no­sis “may in­di­cate that a di­ag­no­sis can lead to in­creased per­sonal

health mon­i­tor­ing and health­ier be­hav­iours post di­ag­no­sis”.

How­ever, one, five and 10-year sur­vival es­ti­mates for the 29 most com­mon can­cers present a “mixed picture”, ac­cord­ing to the Of­fice for Na­tional Sta­tis­tics and Pub­lic Health Eng­land.

Sally Green­brook, pol­icy man­ager at char­ity Breast Can­cer Now, said: “These fig­ures show how im­por­tant early de­tec­tion is in giv­ing breast can­cer pa­tients the best chance of sur­vival. The

ear­lier the dis­ease is found, the more likely treat­ment is to be suc­cess­ful. We would urge all women to check their breasts reg­u­larly and at­tend screen­ing when in­vited.”

Sarah Caul, head of can­cer anal­y­sis at the ONS, said: “In gen­eral, we have seen an in­crease in peo­ple’s chances of sur­vival across dif­fer­ent types of can­cer.

“Melanoma of the skin, prostate and breast can­cer have con­tin­ued to have the high­est chances of sur­vival across all age-stan­dard­ised

es­ti­mates com­pared to other can­cer types.

“This is the first time we’ve looked at this in more de­tail to ex­am­ine how five-year sur­vival rates change de­pend­ing on the stage of the dis­ease and when it is di­ag­nosed.”

When it came to five-year sur­vival rates, pa­tients with skin can­cer had the best chances: 89 per cent for men and 94 per cent for women.

Pan­cre­atic can­cer had the low­est five-year sur­vival rate for men and women, at 6.4 and 7.5 per cent re­spec­tively.

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