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Cancer death rates fall 10% in 10 years

Cancer death rates in the UK have fallen by nearly 10% over 10 years, Cancer Research UK revealed today.

This is largely due to improvements in detection, diagnosis and treatments.

Moreover, the gap between the death rates of men and women with cancer is narrowing.

Men's death rates have fallen by 12% from 397 for every 100,000 in 2003 to 349 per 100,000 in 2013. This compares to an 8% drop in women - falling from 259 per 100,000 women in 2003 to 240 in 2013.

However, for some cancers, such as liver and pancreatic, the rates of people dying from the disease have increased over the last decade.

Sir Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK's chief executive, said: “Today on World Cancer Day it's important to remember that even though the death rates are falling, the overall number of people dying from cancer is expected to increase. This is because the population is growing and more of us are living longer. Too many people are still being diagnosed with and dying from cancer, not just here in the UK but around the world.

In response, Macmillan Cancer Support is calling on the government to put the recovery package for cancer care - announced last September - in place as soon as possible.

Fran Woodard, director of policy and impact at Macmillan, says: “Just because more people are surviving cancer doesn't mean they are living well. For months or even years after a diagnosis, they might have to deal with debilitating physical side effects of treatment such as incontinence, practical concerns such as significant money worries or the emotional impact such as isolation.”