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Rise in cancer survival rate

Improvements in the speed with which stomach or gut cancer is diagnosed means suffers are 40% more likely to survive a year after it is spotted than they were 20 years ago, a study has shown.

Survival rates rose from 27% for stomach cancer in the 1980s to 38% in the 2000s.

One-year survival rates for oesophageal cancer in England have risen from 25% to 36% over the same period, the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) figures showed.

Both cancers can be hard to diagnose as the symptoms can be confused with other conditions.

Better treatment options, including surgery by experts in specialist centres and the introduction of chemotherapy for advanced disease, have also played a part in increasing survival rates.

Furthermore, early diagnosis and better screening has led to 95% of breast cancer patients surviving for more than a year after diagnosis, the data showed.

This is a rise of 6% on 20 years ago.

Professor David Forman, information lead at the NCIN, said: "Increases in one-year survival rates are a useful signpost.

"For many types of cancer, they suggest that the disease is being diagnosed at an earlier stage, which is vitally important in treating the disease successfully."

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