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Charity issues post-cancer warning

A leading cancer charity has warned that some survivors of the disease are not receiving appropriate care for serious illnesses that develop as a result of their treatment.

Macmillan Cancer Support estimated that about 250,000 cancer survivors who live for at least five years after diagnosis develop serious health problems, including memory loss, bowel problems and bone and heart disease following their treatment.

The charity also claimed that some doctors were still unaware of the long-term effects of cancer.

Macmillan's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Jane Maher, told the BBC: "They need to know what is their risk of cancer coming back, and what is their risk of the treatment causing them problems in the future, so that they can do the things that they can do to help themselves.

"They should know what to report and who to report it to, and they can be assured that they can get back into the system to have those problems dealt with months, years, even decades after the treatment."

The Department of Health said it had recognised the importance of post-cancer care, adding that it was looking at a "range of approaches to survivorship care".

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Macmillan Cancer Support