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Macmillan urges support for cancer patients

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A charity has called for the health service to acknowledge the long-term impact for cancer patients after new statistics showed the survival rates for many patients are improving.

Macmillan Cancer Support said after treatment ends, many patients feel “abandoned” by the NHS and have difficulty coping with the aftermath of the illness.

Webchat 10 June 2011: cancer survival, the nurse’s role

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there is a trend of increasing survival rate for cancers of the lung, oesophagus, prostate, stomach and breast cancer in women.

Mike Hobday, head of policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “It is encouraging that survival rates for many cancer patients are improving. However, this does not show the whole picture.

“After treatment ends, many patients feel abandoned by the NHS and struggle to cope with the long-term effects of cancer and the impact cancer treatment has on their health, careers and families.

“That’s why we are urging the NHS to recognise the long-term impact of cancer and offer every cancer patient the support they need.”

The ONS researchers looked at adult patients in England diagnosed with eight cancers between 2002 and 2004. They were followed up in 2009.

The statistics showed an “upward trend” in survival for patients diagnosed with all cancers studied except for cancers of the bladder, cervix and colon cancer in women.


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