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Thousands now surviving childhood cancer

Tens of thousands of people who developed cancer as a child have survived the disease, according to a charity’s data.

Signalling a huge improvement in the fight against childhood cancers, around 33,000 long-term survivors will be alive by the end of this year.

Cancer Research UK says massive progress has been made since the 1960s when only around two or three in every 10 children with cancer lived longer than five years from the point of diagnosis.

Now around eight in every 10 children with the disease will survive beyond that time.

Each year in the UK around 1,600 children develop cancer, although they now have a much greater chance of beating the disease.

With leukaemia, for example, treatments were few and far between back in the 60s but nowadays four in every five children survive leukaemia beyond several years.

The survival rate for hepatoblastoma, a common liver cancer in children, has jumped from around 20% in the 1970s to around 80% now.

Improvements in treating cancers are down to increased research into the diseases.

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