Cancer charity expresses concern over latest survival statistics in Wales
A leading Cancer charity has expressed concern at the latest cancer survival rates in Wales.
The statistics published today by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit (WCISU) at Public Health Wales cover the period 2002-2019 and report a mixed picture.
According to the report, one-year and five-year cancer survival increased across Wales for many commonly diagnosed cancer types such as lung and prostate.
However, there has been a levelling off and even a decrease in recent years for some less commonly diagnosed cancers such as bladder, anus, larynx and uterine.
Jon Antoniazzi, Policy and Public Affairs Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales, said: “While it’s positive to see improved survival rates for the most common types of cancer, it is worrying to see a levelling off or decrease in survival for rarer types of cancer.
“It’s also concerning to see a levelling off and decrease in survival rates for bowel cancer, which is a more common cancer.
“This data is from before the pandemic so we would expect to see an increase in later-stage diagnoses and an impact on survival rates in future years.
“These figures highlight the urgent need for a comprehensive cancer plan that sets a clear direction of travel for how we can transform the experiences and outcomes for people living with cancer in Wales.
“Early diagnosis makes a huge difference to a person’s chances of surviving cancer so we would encourage anyone with a worrying ongoing symptom, such as a new cough or unexplained weight loss or bleeding, to contact their GP as soon as they can.
Dr Giles Greene, Head of Population Cancer Research at WCISU said: “We are examining how the unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic response affected cancer services and whether the response impacted long-standing health inequalities to give us a better understanding of how the pandemic has affected overall cancer survival rates.”
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