Too many die from cancer, as mortality rate falls, says charity head
February 22, 2016
Too many people are still dying from cancer, the chief executive of Cancer Research UK has said, in spite of the fact that the percentage of those dying has fallen.
Sir Harpal Kumar said: “Too many people are still being diagnosed with and dying from cancer, not just here in the UK but around the world.” The charity, he said, was focusing research on how to diagnose cancer earlier and how to treat the most resistant cancers.
Sir Harpal added: “It’s important to celebrate how much things have improved, but also to renew our commitment to saving the lives of more cancer patients.”
Cancer Research UK has compiled death rate data from across the UK, showing that death rates fell overall by 10 per cent between 2003 and 2013 – from 312 in every 100,000 in 2003 to 284 in 100,000 in 2013. The change is thought to be due to improvements in diagnosis and treatment.
But the actual number of cancer deaths rose – from 155,000 in 2003 to 162,000 in 2013 – as more people live longer and develop the disease in old age.
Sian Thompson, Solicitor
“The fall in the percentage is very welcome news indeed and Cancer Research UK’s work is vital to maintaining that momentum. But we are still seeing patients diagnosed too late or treated inadequately and each of those cases is a tragedy for the patient and their family.”
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