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.
Chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, Ciaran Devane said:
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.
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."
Bowel cancer screening improves the chance of catching the disease early and gives patients a 90% chance of surviving, a health campaigner has said.
Chief executive of the charity Beating Bowel Cancer, Mark Flannagan, remained sceptical about research which claimed a lot of colonoscopies were unnecessary and urged people to get checked.
Medical experts are concerned too many people are undergoing unnecessary operations to remove growths on the bowel which will never become cancerous.
Concerns about missing cases of bowel cancer - the third most common cancer in the UK - could be putting people at unnecessary risk of bowel perforation or major bleeding, they said.
Small growths on the inner lining of the colon or rectum called bowel polyps, which effect 15-20% of the UK population are removed as some can eventually turn cancerous.
Professor Geir Hoff and colleagues in Norway, writing online in the British Medical Journal said data showed less than 5% of adenomas develop into bowel cancer.
- Bowel cancer rates among men have soared by more than a quarter in the last 35 years, Cancer Research UK have said.
- Incidence of the disease has climbed from 45 cases per 100,000 men in 1975-77 to 58 cases in 2008-10.
- Over the same time period, rates for women have increased only slightly from 35 to 37 per 100,000.
- Increasing rates of bowel cancer may be linked to obesity and diets high in red and processed meat and low in fibre.
- Another key factor is the increasing age of the population.
- But why there should be such a stark difference between men and women is still unknown.
- Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK after lung cancer.
- The Cancer Drugs Fund is money the Government has set aside to pay for cancer drugs that haven’t been approved by NICE and aren’t available within the NHS in England.
- This may be because the drugs haven’t been looked at yet or because NICE have said that they don’t work well enough or are not cost effective.
- The Government have said that the fund is worth £200 million per year.
- The Cancer Drugs Fund started at the beginning of April 2011.
- This fund is shared between the 10 Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) in England.
- The fund is to continue until the end of March 2014.
- From 2014 the Government plan to introduce a new way of setting prices for cancer drugs which aims to make more drugs routinely available in the NHS.
As many as 6,500 bowel cancer patients could be denied access to life-extending drugs when a fund set up to pay for them ceases to exist next year, a charity has warned.
The charity Beating Bowel Cancer says it is concerned about the availability of drugs when The Cancer Drugs Fund - worth £200 million - stops in 2014.
The fund was set up for patients in England to access drugs approved by their doctors but which have not been given the go-ahead for widespread use on the NHS.
The aim of the fund was to make it easier for doctors to prescribe treatments even if they have not yet been approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice).
A spokeswoman said that 6,427 patients every year could be denied access to the medicines when the cash flow dries up.
The charity is calling on ministers to create a "workable alternative" to provide the drugs to patients beyond January 2014