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The cancer survival lottery: More patients are surviving than ever but where you live can make a real difference
For men, biggest increase in survival was in colon and prostate cancerIn women, biggest leap in survival was seen in cervical cancer patientsBut patients still face wide variations depending on where they live
18:06 GMT, 18 April 2013
18:06 GMT, 18 April 2013
Cancer patients face 'wide and persistent' variations in survival rates depending on where they live, according to a new report.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that it observed 'wide geographic disparities' in survival rates for patients in England who were diagnosed between 2004 and 2006.
Key findings from its new report include both one and five-year survival rates for eight common cancers increasing.
For men, the largest increase was for cancers of the colon, oesophagus and prostate, while in women it was for cancer of the cervix.
The percentage of patients surviving cancer five years after diagnosis, by cancer type
For cancers of the colon, breast, cervix, prostate and bladder, survival is reasonably good: one-year
survival is above 65 per cent and five-year survival is above 45 per cent.
But for cancers of the oesophagus, stomach and lung, survival remains very low, at 40 per cent after one year and below 20 per cent after five years.
When it came to geographical differences among some of the most common cancers, the percentage of people who lived for a year after diagnosis was almost 20 per cent higher in some of England's 28 regional cancer registries when compared to others.
Figures showed 49 per cent of women diagnosed with stomach cancer in north-west London survived for one year, while in Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire the figure stood at just 29 per cent.
For men's stomach cancer, 46.6 per cent of patients survived for one year in north-west London while only 29.2 per cent of those diagnosed in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and south Worcestershire lived for a year.
For cancers of the colon, breast, cervix, prostate and bladder, the five-year survival is above 45 per cent
There were also disparities with survival rates for people diagnosed with bladder cancer – 58.9 per cent of women in Kent and Medway survived for one year compared with 75.8 per cent in north London.
In south Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, 82.7 per cent of men lived for a year after diagnosis compared to 73.8 per cent of men in south Yorkshire, north Derbyshire and Bassetlaw and Essex.
North-west London had the best one-year survival rates for lung cancer patients, with 36.7 per cent of women and 32.2 per cent of men surviving for a year. But in Lancashire and south Cumbria only 23.5 per cent of women and 21.7 per cent of men survived for the same time period.
In north-east London, five-year survival for women with breast and cervical cancer was significantly below the national average.
Researchers found that 76.6 per cent of women with breast cancer survived for five years – 6.7 per cent below the national level – and 52.3 per cent of cervical cancer patients survived for the time frame – 11.0 per cent lower than the national average.
While there were wide variations reported by the ONS, researchers also found that one-year and five-year survival rates for adults increased overall for eight common cancers between 2002-2006.