Former footballer Vinnie Jones has revealed he has been diagnosed with skin cancer, describing the disease as his 'scariest opponent yet'.
Maurice Saatchi lost his wife Josephine to ovarian cancer. He is calling for legal protection for doctors to try new treatments
The chances of developing and surviving cancer vary considerably depending on where you live.
In around half of the practices in the sample, fewer than 50 per cent of cancer patients were seen through the two-week system. Not all patients with cancer visit their GP with symptoms.
Some are diagnosed in A&E, while others have cancer detected during routine tests, or are referred straight to A&E by their GPs because their symptoms are so bad.
The new data has been published by NHS England as part of a raft of information to help patients work out how well their GP practice is performing.
The target for the NHS says 95 per cent of patients with suspected cancer referred by their GP must be seen by a specialist within two weeks.
The data suggests many are not seen on this basis and are eventually diagnosed another way. While some GP practices show 100 per cent of patients with cancer making it through the fast-track system, others fall far behind.
Thousands of people eventually diagnosed with cancer may be failed by GPs who do not refer them quickly enough, data suggests. Figures from around 4,000 GP practices in England show that, in many cases, only a minority of patients are fast-tracked for investigation by a specialist.
In some practices, only around one in 10 patients eventually diagnosed with the disease saw a specialist within two weeks.
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:
– Chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support Ciaran Devane
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.
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."
According to the Eurocare-5 study on five year survival rates across Europe found:
- Breast cancer - in the UK and Ireland 79.2% survived, 84.7% in northern Europe and a European average of 81.8%.
- Prostate cancer - UK and Ireland, 80.6%, Northern Europe, 85%, and the European average, 83.4%.
- Stomach cancer - 17.2% in the UK and Ireland. European average of 25.1%.
- Rectal cancer - UK, 53.7%; European average 55.8%.
- Lung cancer - UK, 9%; European average 13%.
- Kidney cancer - UK, 47.6%; European average 60.6%.
- The worst survival rates were seen in Eastern European countries, though the gap between east and west was closing, according to the study authors.
The UK is lagging behind Europe in survival rates for nine out of the 10 most common cancers, a major study has shown.
The Eurocare-5 study painted a disappointing picture for the five year survival rate for stomach, colon, rectal, lung, melanoma skin, breast, ovarian, prostate, kidney cancers and the blood cancer non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the UK.
Despite improvements in diagnosis and treatment beginning as far back as the 1990s, data from more than nine million adult patients revealed survival was lower than the average of more than 20 European countries.
These included countries which had previously fallen behind the Iron Curtain and had exceptionally poor health care, like Bulgaria.
As many as 10,000 lives could be saved every year in Britain, if cancer treatment was more effective.
New figures show survival rates are among the worst in Europe. Part of the problem is the length of time it takes for cancer to be diagnosed.
Medical Editor Lawrence McGinty reports:
“It’s tragic. It means 10,000 people a year are dying of cancer completely unnecessarily,” cancer specialist Professor Karol Sikora says.
“The problem can be solved by fast-tracking diagnostic process – scans, biopsies not just for those likely to have cancer, but for everybody,” he says.
Research into cancer survival rates found that only the Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark had worse rates for surviving bowel cancer than Britain while cervical cancer rates were worse in only Ireland and Poland, the Health at a Glance 2013 study found.
NHS England says the first step is to increase awareness.
“Campaigns over the last two years have demonstrated that we can make improvements in patients’ awareness of symptoms – that’s the first step,“ says Sean Duffy, NHS England Cancer Services director.