Cancer survival rates improve in Northumberland

The survival rate of cancer patients in Northumberland is improving, new figures show.

By Andrew Dowdeswell
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 4:24 pm
Cancer survival rates rise.
Cancer survival rates rise.

NHS Digital figures show 74.7% of people living in the NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group area survived the first year after their cancer diagnosis in 2019 – up from 74.1% the year prior and 65.4% in 2004, when records began.

But early diagnosis rates lag behind Government targets for 75% being detected at stage one or two by 2028.

Nationally, one-year survival rates have steadily risen over 15 years - from 64.4% to 74.6%.

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However, little progress has been made on early diagnosis and the national rate remains well below the 75% target.

Separate NHS Digital figures show just 55% of cancers were detected at earlier stages in 2019 – an increase of just 0.3% on 2013, when records began,

In Northumerland, 53.2% of all cancer diagnoses in 2019 were classified as stage one or two – down from 53.8% over the same time period.

A panel of experts appointed by MPs has described the Government's commitment to cancer in England as "inadequate", while former health secretary Jeremy Hunt warned the early diagnosis of cancer is being jeopardised by staff shortages and the "damaging and prolonged impact" of the coronavirus pandemic.

An NHS England spokesperson said cancer care is a priority for the organisation and a £3.8bn plan to recover elective care over the next three years will help catch and treat more cancers at an early stage.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "We recognise that business as usual on cancer is not enough.”