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Cancer survival rates improving

Cancer survival rates for the four most common forms of the disease are improving in England, a report said.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that with regards to breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer, five-year survival rates have risen.

Survival rates for patients who were diagnosed between 2003 and 2007 were higher than for patients who were diagnosed between 2001 and 2006.

Men with prostate cancer had a 2.7% better chance of surviving if they were diagnosed more recently, while there was a 1.3% difference for women with breast cancer and 1.5% for women with colon cancer.

The difference was small (0.4%) for lung cancer, which is often diagnosed in its later stages.

Survival rates were also higher for several other cancers monitored over the same period.

The largest increase in five-year survival between 2001-2006 to 2003-2007 was 3.5% for men diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (from 54.7% to 58.2%) and 3.4% for myeloma (from 30.1% to 33.5%).

Myeloma also showed the largest increase (2.8%) in survival for women (from 29.9% to 32.7%).

More men survived testicular cancer than any other cancer (96.2%) while more women survived malignant melanoma (90.1%).

The lowest five-year survival in both sexes was for pancreatic cancer: 3.1% in men and 3.3% in women.

Ciaran Devane, Chief Executive at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "The next government needs to ensure all cancer patients have the support they need to manage the long-term effects of cancer treatment.

"The current NHS follow-up service is costly and ineffective and must be replaced."

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UK National Statistics