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Cancer patients live for longer

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New data from Cancer Research UK has shown that 50 per cent of people diagnosed with cancer will live for over ten years.

A study of over seven million people showed that the rate of those diagnosed with cancer living for over a decade has effectively doubled since the 1970s. There have been huge increases in life expectancy for certain cancers, with 98 per cent of men with testicular cancer living for ten years after their diagnosis, and 89 per cent of people with malignant melanoma surviving for the same period, compared with 46 per cent in 1970. However, just one per cent of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and five per cent of lung cancer patients have a life expectancy of ten years.

Professor Michel Coleman, head of Cancer Research UK's Cancer Survival Group, the team which produced the data, said: ‘These results come from detailed analysis of the survival of more than 7 million cancer patients diagnosed in England and Wales since the 1970s. They show just how far we've come in improving cancer survival, but they also shine a spotlight on areas where much more needs to be done.'

Cancer Research UK has launched a new campaign to coincide with the release of the figures. The aim of this is to ensure that within the next 20 years at least three quarters of people with cancer survive.

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