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17,000 English patients are surviving Stage 4 cancer for two years or more, new data shows

Published on 08/11/17 at 10:36am

At least 17,000 people in the UK are living with Stage 4 cancer and have survived for two years or more, according to new data revealed by Macmillan Cancer Support and Public Health England’s (PHE) National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service.

Presented this week at the 2017 National Cancer Research Institute Conference in Liverpool, the previously unavailable figures are derived from England’s national cancer registry, gathering data on patients diagnosed with the top ten most common cancers between 2012 and 2013 who are still alive by the end of 2015.

These cancers included: bladder; female breast; colorectal; kidney, renal pelvis and ureter; lung, trachea and bronchus; melanoma of skin; non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; ovary; prostate and uterine cancer. The total figure of 17,000 itself includes 1,200 cases of Stage 4 lung cancer, 2,300 cases of Stage 4 bowel cancer, and 1,600 women with Stage 4 breast cancer and 6,400 men with Stage 4 prostate cancer.

“Advances in treatment and care mean that a growing number of people have cancer that cannot be cured, but can be managed by treatments that alleviate the symptoms and may also prolong their life,” explained Adrienne Betteley, Macmillan Cancer Support’s Specialist Adviser for end-of-life care. “This is really positive news, but living with advanced cancer can be a difficult situation to be in. As well as dealing with the physical symptoms of cancer and having multiple hospital appointments, scans and treatment options to contend with, there’s also the emotional and psychological impact of having an uncertain future.”

Matt Fellows

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