CANCER IN THE UK

By 2020, 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. Survival is inextricably linked to the stage of the disease at diagnosis. At stages 1 or 2 when the cancer is still confined, over 80% of patients will survive to 10 years. However, at stages 3 or 4 in the later stages of the disease, the chances of the patient surviving fall to less than 20% at 5 years.

Late stage diagnosis not only reduces the length of a patient’s life, but also has a significant impact on the quality of the patient’s life. When diagnosed in the late stages, patients will require more chemotherapy, suffer from more side effects and have more frequent hospital admissions and procedures.

%

OF PATIENTS ARE DIAGNOSED IN THE LATE STAGES

%

SURVIVE IF DIAGNOSED LATE

%

SURVIVE IF DIAGNOSED EARLY

Cancer survival in the UK is well below European average. Almost half of all patients are diagnosed in the late stages of the disease, with a resulting 80% mortality rate in these patients. One fifth of patients are still being diagnosed in Accident and Emergency with predominately late stage disease and one fifth will see their doctors three times or more with the same symptoms, prior to being identified as being at risk of cancer and referred.

Late diagnosis of cancer not only costs lives but is more expensive to treat. NHS England estimates that through early diagnosis £210,000,000 could be saved, as well as 52,000 lives per year.