icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

‘Unmanageable’ cancer crisis, NHS ‘unable to cope’ – charity

‘Unmanageable’ cancer crisis, NHS ‘unable to cope’ – charity
A leading charity claims there will be a record 2.5 million people living with cancer in the UK in 2015, constituting a rise of 400,000 from five years ago. It warns the National Health Service (NHS) may be “unable to cope.”

Macmillan Cancer Support says the rise is largely due to improvements in treatment and early detection of the disease.

The charity also said this surge will form a “crisis of unmanageable proportions.” Around one in four people face ill health or disability following treatment for cancer.

Nearly 80 percent now survive for 10 years after breast cancer diagnosis, up from 40 percent in 1970.

Testicular cancer patients have a 98 percent chance of surviving for 10 years, and people with malignant melanoma (an aggressive form of skin cancer) have an 89 percent chance.

However, only one percent of those with pancreatic cancer will survive 10 years, and only 5 percent of lung cancer patients.

Survival rates for different cancers vary. Lung cancer remains the biggest killer, accounting for 22 percent of the 160,000 cancer deaths in the UK every year. As it stands, brain tumors and Esophageal cancer sufferes also have poor survival rates.

Department of Health officials say survival rates are now “at their highest ever in England.” Whilst this may be cause for celebration, critics still question whether the NHS will be able to handle the wave of new cases in 2015.

Reuters/Eric Gaillard

Linda Thomas, chief executive of Macmillan, told The Independent that survival rates were “great news,” but warned that progress is a “double edge-sword.”

Linda fears the NHS will “soon be unable to cope with the huge increase in demand for health services.” However, she believes charities such as Macmillan will “become even more urgent and important.”

Macmillan Cancer Support said improving survival rates had created a “growing number of people who had not returned to full health because of serious side effects.”

Speaking to RT, health policy adviser and founding partner of Incisive Health, Mike Birtwistle, said: “The fact that more people are surviving and living with cancer is a success story and should be celebrated.”

“For the NHS to rise to the challenge of increasing demand for cancer services it will need to do things differently.”

“This means focusing on earlier diagnosis to improve survival and reduce the need for costly treatments, more help for patients to get back on their feet after cancer and a new focus on supporting older people diagnosed with cancer,” he added.

Birtwistle believes these three steps will help to “reduce complications, ease the demand for cancer services and improve outcome for patients.”

“I’m optimistic we can get this right. This could be a win for patients and a win for health services.”

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.