Some cancer deaths 'set to halve by 2020'

The number of deaths from three cancers - breast, prostate and bowel - are set to almost halve by the end of the decade, figures show. However, data from Macmillan Cancer Support found the lung cancer mortality rate showed little sign of slowing.

Call for plain cigarette packaging after new cancer data

Plain cigarette packaging should be introduced to help lower the amount of people dying from lung cancer, a leading health charity has said.

Macmillan Cancer Support made the renewed call for the reintroduction of the controversial policy, amid a Government review into the effectiveness of plain packaging.

Read more: Cigarettes plain packet review

Chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, Ciaran Devane said:

Lung cancer patients deserve better. It is high time we closed the gap between survival rates for different cancers and give everyone the best possible chance of recovery.

Firstly, we support the call for plain packaging of cigarettes to stop people taking up smoking, secondly we must catch the illness earlier through better awareness and we have to make sure access to surgery is more uniform across the country to reduce inequalities in cancer survival.

It cannot be right that you are much more likely to get the surgery you need if you live in Leicestershire than if you live in Lancashire.

– Chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support Ciaran Devane

Deaths from three common cancers will 'almost halve'

The number of people dying from three common cancers - breast, prostate and bowel - is expected to almost halve by the end of the decade, according to findings from a leading health charity.

Cancer cells
Mortality rates in breast, prostate and bowel cancers have improved since 1992, according to Macmillan Cancer Support. Credit: Reuters

Over a third, 36%, of breast cancer sufferers will succumb to the disease, a 61% drop in the mortality rate from 1992, Macmillian Cancer Support found.

A further 39% of people with bowel cancer would die, down from 67% in 1992.

However, the lung cancer mortality rate remains high, with 76% of patients expected to die from the disease, compared to 91% in 1992.

Professor Jane Maher, chief medical officer of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "People diagnosed with three of the four most common cancers are more likely to survive but GPs need more support to help them diagnose lung cancer earlier."

Read more: UK cancer survival rates 'low'

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