Survival rates within the first year of being diagnosed with cancer reached 74.6 per cent by 2020, having been steadily increasing since 2005.
According to government figures, the first-year survival rates increased by nine per cent over the 15-year period, with some cancers having a higher survival success rate.
For instance, 97 per cent of people diagnosed with breast cancer were still alive one year after their diagnosis, while the same was true for 80 per cent of bowel cancer patients.
This goes to show that research into cancer treatments and faster diagnosis has improved prognosis, helping people to live much longer after having cancer.
Health minister Helen Whately said: “These figures are highly encouraging.”
She added: “We are laser focused on fighting cancer on all fronts – prevention, diagnosis, treatment, research and funding.”
Ms Whately noted 94 community diagnostic centres have been opened across the country since July 2021, which improve access to tests, scans and checks.
“We are also taking a vaccine taskforce style approach to cancer research to develop new immune-based cancer therapies, including cancer vaccines, as well as producing a major conditions strategy,” the health minister stated.
The figures come after the five-year survival rates were released in February this year, which revealed improvements for most types of cancer. What’s more, child cancer survival rates after five years had reached 86 per cent.
Ms Whately also revealed government goals to diagnose three-quarters of cancers early by 2028, as this will improve the prognosis for patients and boost the survival rates even more.
As early detection is crucial, there has been a lot of reporting surrounding new research that artificial intelligence (AI) could help diagnose lung cancer sooner.
The LIBRA study has created an AI algorithm using CT scans from 500 patients who had large lung nodules. The results showed the AI could identify the risk of cancer in each nodule with an Area Under the Curve (AUC) rating of 0.87, with 1.0 being a perfect model and 0.5 being a guess.
As large lung nodules are closely linked with lung cancer, the AI can help doctors identify high-risk patients, who can then be checked and accurately diagnosed. If cancer is detected, this enables treatment to start as soon as possible.
Lung cancer patient Keith told Digital Health: “It turned out that there were three nodules in my lungs which were cancerous.”
He added: “Any new technology that helps give more clarity over whether something on a CT scan is or isn’t cancer would be great.”
“The earlier the treatment, the better the outcome,” Keith added.
According to Cancer Research UK, there were 48,549 new cases of lung cancer between 2016 and 2018. Only one-tenth of patients survive more than ten years after their diagnosis, which is why early detection is essential.
Anyone who is concerned about their health and wants an appointment quickly should consider getting a Sheffield oncology diagnosis as soon as possible.