November 7, 2017

Cancer has a big impact on life expectancy. Half of people diagnosed with cancer in England and Wales survive for 10 years or more, and half do not. However, survival rates have doubles in the last 40 years and continue to rise. Survival rates vary dramatically with the type of cancer.

Around 1 in 2 people who are currently under the age of 60 will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. There were around 357,000 new cases of cancer in the UK in 2014 – 980 cases were diagnosed every day. Cancer incidence rates are highest in those over 85, and 53% of cancer deaths are in people aged 75 and over. Half of all cancer diagnoses each year are in over 70s.

For people with easier to diagnose and treat cancers, more than 80% survive for 10 years or more. Survival tends to be higher in those diagnosed before the age of 40, but it depends on the type of cancer.

At the higher end of the survival rates spectrum are cancer like Testicular cancer (98% survive 10 years or more), Skin cancer (90% survive 10 years or more), and Prostate cancer (84%). In the middle are cancers like Breast cancer (78%), Cervical cancer (63%), Bowel cancer (57%), Bone cancer (55%) and Leukaemia (46%). At the low end of the scale for survival are cancers like Stomach cancer (15%), Brain cancer (14%), Lung cancer (5%) and Pancreatic cancer (less than 1%).

More than 20% of all cancer deaths are from lung cancer; lung, bowel, breast and prostate cancer account for almost half of cancer deaths.

42% of cancer cases in the UK are due to lifestyle factors, with smoking being the largest preventable cause of cancer.

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