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More young people surviving cancer in England, despite significant economic divide

Published on 17/01/19 at 11:05am

Mortality and five year survival rates in a range of different cancers among people aged 13-24 improved in England between 2001 and 2015.

However young people living in poorer areas were less likely to survive, according to a report published by Teenage Cancer Trust and Public Health England. While those living in the richest areas had 88% survival rate, those living in the poorest areas had survival rates of just 84%.

Overall, cancer in young people is rare, with fewer than 1% of cases affecting those aged between 13 and 24. On average, 2,397 young people were diagnosed with the disease each year between 2013 and 2015. The majority of cases occurred in those aged between 19 and 24 years old.

However five year survival rates for those diagnosed between 2001-05 was on the up when compared to those diagnosed between 2007-11, as rates of survival improved from 83% in 2001-05 to 87% in 2007-11 for females and 80% to 84% for males during the same periods.

Survival rates also improved in various common cancers such as lymphoma (92%), bone cancer (63%) and carcinomas (84%).

The improvements are in line with trends towards improved survival among adults, which have doubled in the past 40 years.

Nevertheless, although survival rates are up, so too are the number of cases of cancer diagnoses, which increased among those aged 13-24. This could be due in part to the upsurge in cervical cancer diagnoses among women aged 24, and the reclassification of other cancers, the report suggests.

Louis Goss

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