Tuesday, July 11, 2017

There are more new cases of cancer each year than marriages in the UK

Cancer Diagnosis Now 'More Common Than Marriage'
Liam Davenport
July 11, 2017
The cancer diagnoses are divided almost equally among men (51%) and women (49%). Just more than half (53%) of all new cases are cancers of the breast, prostate, lung, and bowel.
Five-year survival rates range from more than 80% for breast cancer, prostate cancer, melanoma of the skin, Hodgkin's lymphoma, and thyroid and testicular cancer to fewer than 15% for lung and liver cancer and 6% to 7% for mesothelioma and pancreatic cancer.
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10 July 2017
Being diagnosed with cancer is now one of the most common life-changing events in people’s lives, Macmillan wants the public to be better informed about the reality of cancer diagnosis and treatment

There are more new cases of cancer each year than marriages in the UK, according to a new report from Macmillan Cancer Support.

The report, The C-Word: How we react to cancer today, reveals being diagnosed with cancer is one of the most common life-changing events in people’s lives. New analysis reveals:
Cancer is more common than new marriages: Latest figures show there are over 70,000 more new cases of cancer each year in UK than new marriages[i].

Cancer is more common than women having their first child: Latest figures show there are almost 50,000 more new cases of cancer each in year in England and Wales than women giving birth to their first child[ii].

Cancer is as common as graduating: Latest figures show there are a similar number of undergraduate degrees awarded each year in the UK[iii], compared with new cases of cancer.

Cancer affects many people at the “prime” of their life: More than 1.2 million people have been diagnosed with cancer under the age of 65 in the past 10 years, including more than 340,000 diagnosed in their 20s, 30s and 40s[iv].

Cancer is the most feared disease

Macmillan’s research reveals that while receiving a cancer diagnosis is an increasingly common life event, it is the disease people most fear getting (37%), ahead of Alzheimer’s (27%), stroke (7%), depression (4%), heart disease (4%) or multiple sclerosis (2%)[v].

For one in 10 people in the UK (10%), cancer is their biggest fear of all, ahead of losing a loved one, their own death or even terrorism[vi].

However, Macmillan’s report highlights that people’s perceptions and fears around cancer can be unhelpful in supporting them to understand their choices when they are diagnosed. When they were first told they had cancer, one in three people (34%) say they were in a daze and couldn’t take anything in[vii].

We all need to be better prepared and informed about cancer

As one in two people will get cancer at some point in their lives[viii] and more and more people are living longer after cancer[ix], Macmillan wants the public to have a better understanding of the reality of a cancer diagnosis.

The charity has released the report to coincide with the launch of its major new advertising campaign, Life with cancer, which Macmillan hopes will remove some of the fear around diagnosis and highlight the support that is available for people living with cancer today. The charity believes that life with cancer is still life and that people should have the right support in place to help them live it as normally as possible.

A positive new approach to cancer awareness, the campaign reflects the insight that 85% of people with cancer don’t want to be defined by the disease[x]. The series of recently released adverts, show that cancer doesn’t have to change who you are with an important message: life with cancer is still life.

Macmillan’s research shows that nine in ten (90%) people living with cancer say they are still living their lives as normally as they can[xi].

The charity believes that being as prepared as possible, knowing what to expect during and after treatment and being told what support is available from the moment of diagnosis, can support people to continue to live their lives.

Lynda Thomas, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, says:

“Being told you have cancer changes your life, and it can leave people feeling as if they’ve been thrust into the unknown, bewildered and unprepared.

“But as more and more people are being diagnosed with cancer, it’s important that we are all better informed about what to expect if we do one day we receive this shocking news.

“Cancer is almost always life-changing, but it isn’t always life-ending. Life with cancer is still life – you’re still a dad, a sister, a grandparent, a friend. Macmillan has supported millions from the point of diagnosis, throughout their treatment and into the future. From our experience, we believe that living well with cancer begins at diagnosis. People should come away from those first appointments feeling informed about their choices and knowing what support is available.”

Jane Ives, 49, a mum of two from Hampshire, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. She says:

“Getting a diagnosis of cancer was probably the single most terrifying thing that has happened to me. My biggest fear by far was not seeing my children fully grow up. Not being there for those milestones in their lives – their graduations, their weddings maybe. But here I am three years on and in a few weeks I will be at my eldest’s graduation, which will be a huge moment for both of us. While the fear never quite leaves you – you realise life goes on after cancer and you appreciate the here and now.”

Macmillan’s new report, The C-Word: How we react to cancer today, explores what it’s like to receive a cancer diagnosis in 2017, how our fears and preconceptions affect us in the moment we’re told, and how each of us can be prepared for the news. This is essential in helping people to live their best possible life with cancer.
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