Prime minister, Gordon Brown, has told parliament that care for cancer survivors is a priority, despite concerns from a leading charity that patients recovering from the disease who went on to develop other chronic illness were being neglected.
Macmillan Cancer Support said that patients were not being looked after once they developed problems arising from their treatment; but the prime minister said that improvements in cancer treatment were saving lives, although survivors often required long-term support.
Mr Brown said: "The Macmillan work is something that is very special in our country and something that is very much appreciated.
"I believe that the advances we are making in cancer care, particularly if people are detected early and particularly if people are able to go through the screening process, means that lots of lives that would otherwise be lost are being saved.
"But I appreciate there is aftercare and there is considerable aftercare necessary even after many years and I am determined that we continue to support it."
The charity believes that approximately 250,000 patients who live for at least five years after being diagnosed go on to suffer from serious health problems, such as memory loss and heart disease.