Being diagnosed with cancer in the UK in 2016 does not have to mean a death sentence. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled in the last 40 years
The latest statistics show that half of people diagnosed with cancer in England and Wales survive for at least ten years, which is much better than years ago. This is because of developments of new treatments and also advances in detection (so cancers can be found and therefore treated much earlier). So in general, on preliminary diagnosis, cancer is no longer a death sentence. However, the type of cancer and the time when it is diagnosed do make a difference to survival rates
Cancer Research UK give the following statistics
- Survival varies between cancer types, ranging from 98% for testicular cancer to just 1% for pancreatic cancer.
- Many of the most commonly diagnosed cancers have ten-year survival of 50% or more (2010-11).
- More than 80% of people diagnosed with cancer types which are easier to diagnose and/or treat survive their cancer for ten years or more.
- Less than 20% of people diagnosed with cancer types which are difficult to diagnose and/or treat survive their cancer for ten years or more.
Even the treatments are not as harsh as they used to be. The techniques for discovering the disease have improved tremendously and treatments are no longer damaging and unsophisticated. Today we have improved keyhole surgery, highly targeted radiotherapy and a wide range of very sophisticated cancer drugs.
So the future may be brighter than you think.