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Big Improvements in ‘Big Four’ Cancer Survival for Yorkshire and the Humber

Yorkshire outline excerptNHS England, Public Health England and Yorkshire Cancer Research have joined forces to produce a new report that brings together local data on cancer from across the region. Statistics and analyses on the four biggest types of cancers have been analysed to offer a clear picture of cancer in Yorkshire. Click here to view the full report.
Bowel, breast, lung and prostate cancers make up around half of cancer cases in the region and are responsible for around half of cancer deaths.
With more than 30,000 new cancer cases diagnosed across the region each year, there were over 172,000 people living with and beyond cancer in 2013. By 2030 this is set to rise to around 298,000.
More and more people are being affected by cancer, but, crucially, there has been an improvement in one-year survival rates for the four main cancer types. However, 5-year survival in Yorkshire and the Humber is significantly lower than average for women with breast cancer and men with colorectal cancer. There are big variations across the region both in cancer incidence and in deaths. Incidence varies from 550 cases per 100,000 to 724 per 100,000. Mortality varies from 237 deaths per 100,000 to 260 deaths per 100,000.
Mortality for the region as a whole has fallen significantly over the past 10 years, to 300 deaths per 100,000 in 2013, although this remains significantly higher than the rate for England (284 deaths per 100,000).
The report flags stark differences in both cancer incidence and mortality between the most and least deprived groups across a large number of cancer types, with significantly higher incidence and mortality rates in the most deprived groups for cancers including lung, liver, and stomach cancers. Incidence and mortality rates from lung cancer for the most deprived groups in Yorkshire and Humber are more than double the rate for those in the least deprived group.
cancer inequalities
The report also looks at the prevalence of lifestyle-related risk factors for cancer and the uptake of cancer screening programmes.
With the number of people living with or beyond cancer in Yorkshire set to rise, continued improvements in areas such as cancer prevention, screening uptake, early diagnosis and survival rates will be needed to maintain the progress being made across the region.
Action tackling lifestyle-related risk factors for cancer, such as smoking, obesity, physical inactivity and alcohol use, will be vital in slowing the growth of cancer incidence in future years.
Clare Rogers, Consultant Breast Surgeon and NHS England Cancer Network Clinical lead said:
This report gives us a better understanding of cancer in this region and highlights the huge variations within it. This information will help those involved in prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and long term care to direct resources in the most efficient way in each locality. This will make a real difference to the lives of people in Yorkshire and Humber. Prevention is better than cure, and early detection is better than late detection.”
Matt Day, Consultant lead for Cancer at PHE in Yorkshire and the Humber said:
‘While we can expect to see cancer numbers rising, the earlier we spot the signs, the sooner we get treatment, and the more likely it is we can survive and live well.
‘But four in ten cancers could be prevented in the first place – so it’s vital people realise what they can do to reduce their own chances of getting cancer in the future. Simple changes now to what we eat and drink, getting more exercise and not smoking can make a big difference.’
Charles Rowett, Chief Executive Officer at Yorkshire Cancer Research said:
This report shows that while improvements are being made, Yorkshire is still lagging behind other areas of the country and there are extremely worrying variations in incidence, mortality and survival rates.
‘Yorkshire Cancer Research is committed to investing in targeted research projects that will tackle these inequalities, including community health projects aimed at reducing unhealthy lifestyles and increasing awareness and participation in screening.
‘However, it is clear that significant funding will be required to address the increasing number of people living with and beyond cancer and we would urge national and regional charities and the government to work collaboratively to tackle local cancer problems and priorities.’

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