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The cancer conquerers; Survival rates better than ever thanks to earlier diagnosis and improved treatment.

Byline: ANDREW GREGORY Health Correspondent

MORE people are surviving cancer than ever before, "hugely encouraging" figures reveal today.

Experts have put the improvement down to more patients being diagnosed earlier, as well as better treatments.

Stars including Kylie Minogue have beaten the disease - and have been credited with using their celebrity status to help encourage others to get themselves checked by doctors.

The report shows the number of people in England who are still alive a year after being diagnosed with cancer has improved for all of the most common types of the disease.

Lung cancer survival has risen from 28% in 2007 to 36.3% in 2012, while the figures for those with ovarian cancer are up from 68.1% to 74.7%.

Sean Duffy, national clinical director for cancer at NHS England, said: "It's hugely encouraging to see this significant improvement in cancer survival, which is excellent news for patients and a testament to the hard work of the NHS.

"This report shows we cannot underestimate the importance of early diagnosis - the earlier cancer is spotted, the better the outcome."

Macmillan Cancer Support also welcomed the report but added more work was needed to match the success of other countries.

Mike Hobday, director of policy and research at the charity, said: "While it's encouraging to see overall survival rates for some of the most common cancers in England are improving, we know we still have a long way to go here in the UK if we are to catch up with the best in Europe."

Mr Hobday, inset, said the figures showed there was "a massive difference for patients when their cancer is diagnosed early".

The report from Public Health England's National Cancer Intelligence Network show that the one-year survival rates for colorectal cancer have improved from 71.5% to 77.7%, prostate cancer is up from 93.1% to 96.6% and breast cancer from 94.8% to 96.4%.

Pop singer Kylie was 37 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. She had surgery and chemo.

Talking about her battle, Kylie, 46, said in an emotional interview last month: "I know I have strength but when you are fighting something where there is a lot of unknown, it is a mixture of emotions."

In 2008 she said "early diagnosis and prompt treatment" were vital for anyone who has breast cancer.

In the 1970s, 25% of cancer patients lived for at least 10 more years. Now, 50% are predicted to survive for that length of time.

"There is a massive difference if cancer is diagnosed early MIKE HOBDAY ON ODDS OF SURVIVING DISEASE


FIGHT Kylie beat cancer

INSPIRATION Mirror story in 2005 as Kylie vowed to overcome cancer. Right, the superstar singer smiles in 2006 despite harrowing ordeal

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 26, 2014
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