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Majority of people diagnosed early with cancer live with poor health

Less than one in three people diagnosed early with a common cancer will survive long-term in relatively good health, new analysis has found.

The majority of people who survive in the long-term after a cancer diagnosis will live with another serious long-term condition, experience a cancer recurrence, or develop a new cancer.

Macmillan Cancer Support, who carried out the research, found that people who had an early diagnosis and no spread of cancer are up to 13 times more likely to survive long-term than those diagnosed late.

Juliet Bouverie, director of services and influencing at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “Life is never the same again for many after a cancer diagnosis, and we have to do more to acknowledge that fact. Carrying on with life as if nothing has happened after cancer treatment is just not possible for thousands of people.

“Early diagnosis is a crucial component in tackling cancer, but it is sadly not the sole solution. There are 2.5 million people living with cancer in this country, and we need to look at effective solutions beyond early diagnosis. Macmillan wants to see every one with cancer have access to the right care and support, to live well after treatment. This should include a recovery package, including a holistic needs assessment, to ensure that people are able to manage their health, and achieve the best possible quality of life,” she said.