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Groundbreaking new cancer study takes place in Cardiff

The new study will look at the treatment of end-stage lung cancer. Credit: ITV Wales News

Velindre Hospital in Cardiff is one of eight hospitals in the UK to take part in a new study looking at how to treat end-stage lung cancer, focusing on cancer that has been caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos.

The study will assess the targeting of cancer stem cells and a potential new treatment for pleural mesothelioma - an aggressive form of lung cancer strongly linked to asbestos exposure.

According to latest figures it is the most rapidly increasing cancer amongst women in the UK and the number of deaths caused by the disease each year has grown to more than 2,500.

Drakeford hails 'real improvements' in cancer care

The Health Minister Mark Drakeford AM has hailed the "real improvements" in cancer care in Wales, which have been published in a Welsh Government today.

The report shows that Wales has experienced the biggest increase in cancer survival rates in the UK.

This report demonstrates real improvements in cancer care in Wales over the past year. This is a tribute to all those involved in the planning and delivery of care.

The report tells us our cancer survival improvement has been proportionately larger than in other UK countries, and we have consistently achieved the 31 day target since July 2013.

We also know from the recent cancer patient experience survey that 89% of patients in Wales think their care is 'very good' or 'excellent', rising to 97% when describing their care as 'good'.

Another area of success highlighted by the report is in the increase in the uptake of the HPV vaccine, from 85.5% in 2011/12 to 86.6% in 2012/13.

This vaccine prevents cervical cancer, which is the second most common cancer in women under the age of 35.

The report also highlights areas to focus efforts in the coming year, such as reversing the decline in the numbers of people taking up bowel cancer screening, and to build on recent improvements against the 62-day target for those newly diagnosed with cancer.

While our cancer survival improvement has been the best in the UK, we are still to reach the levels achieved in a number of other European countries so need to continue to make progress here.

Every patient deserves the best care. Whilst the results of this report indicate we are moving in the right direction, in Wales we will continue to work to make improvements in all aspects of cancer care and treatment.

– Mark Drakeford AM, Health Minister

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Wales has biggest rise in cancer survival rates in UK

Wales has the biggest increase in cancer survival rates in the UK, a Welsh Government report published today shows.

The second annual report charting progress against the aims of the Welsh Government's cancer strategy shows a 5 per cent increase in recruitment to clinical trials, among a number of improvements.

In addition the completion of a cancer patient experience survey shows 89 per cent of cancer patients think their care is excellent or very good.

Cancer Patient Experience Survey 2013: The figures

  • The Cancer Patient Experience Survey is the first of its kind carried out for cancer patients in Wales
  • 11,000 cancer patients were asked to complete the survey
  • 7,352 gave their views
  • 89% rated their care as either excellent or very good

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Results of cancer patient experience survey released

Health Minister Mark Drakeford has today published the results of the first ever Cancer Patient Experience Survey produced by the Welsh Government and Macmillan Cancer Support.

The survey reports the views of 7,352 cancer patients in Wales, with 89 per cent of those who responded saying the care they received was either excellent or very good.

However, the results show that some believe that they did not get enough support from locally-based health and social services.

It is also thought that people with rarer forms of cancer are more likely to be less positive about the care they received.

Former Wales International Vinnie Jones is treated for skin cancer

Vinnie Jones has represented and captained the Welsh national football team Credit: GIMINI/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

Former Wales International Vinnie Jones has revealed he is battling skin cancer.

The 48-year-old, who turned to acting after hanging up his boots, told the Sun on Sunday it is the greatest challenge he has ever come up against.

He said: "Cancer is a horrible world to hear. It frightens the life out of you. I've faced the biggest and ugliest lads on the football field, and been in some nasty bar brawls. But this is the toughest and scariest opponent yet."

He also revealed that his wife Tanya is fighting the same disease, a result of drugs she has to take following a heart transplant 26 years ago.

Read more on the ITV National website.

New treatment approach for Oesophageal Cancer

Patient receiving radiotherapy treatment Credit: PA

A new treatment approach for tackling cancer of the food pipe (oesophagus) has been developed by researchers at Cardiff University and Velindre NHS Trust.

Oesophageal Cancer is widely considered to be one of the most difficult cancers to treat, with 8000 new diagnoses in the UK every year, or over 150 people a week.

Supported by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) funding, researchers are now trialling a combination of ground-breaking radiotherapy techniques and two different chemotherapy drugs before surgery, in an effort to improve survival rates for patients.

For patients who are suitable for surgery, doctors can either treat them with chemotherapy or a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy (chemo-radiotherapy) before their operation.

Recent studies have shown that chemo-radiotherapy, delivered with new radiation technology and different combinations of chemotherapy drugs, may be safer and more effective than chemotherapy alone.

Following the trial, patients will have their tumour surgically removed and will be monitored by a research team for up to 12 months.

Doctors will look at the side-effects experienced by patients, how long they remain free from cancer, and whether patients show spread of cancer to other parts of the body.

Dr Gareth Griffiths, Director of CRUK Wales Cancer Trials Unit at Cardiff University said,

"It will give us the evidence to determine whether to investigate this new treatment in a larger number of patients which could show a benefit to patients in terms of survival and could ultimately change routine practice in the UK."

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