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The shocking 'postcode lottery' of cancer care: Patients in some areas 12% less likely to survive the disease

Published on 24 March 2016 back to previous

Cancer patients in some areas of the country are dying more than a decade earlier than others due to a 'postcode lottery' of care, new figures have revealed.

Official statistics released today show the number of women surviving cancer for a year after being diagnosed is 10 per cent higher in some areas of England than others. And the disparity in survival rates for men in different regions is even greater, varying by 12 per cent. Among those remaining cancer-free for five years after diagnosis 'wide differences persist', the report said.

Commenting on the figures, cancer charity Macmillan said it is 'completely unacceptable' that a person's chance of surviving the disease is determined by their postcode.

It said the differences in survival across the country may exist because people are not being diagnosed early enough, due to a lack of awareness about signs, or doctors missing the symptoms.

Or, it may be that people are not always getting access to the treatment they need.

The report, released today by the Office for National Statistics, looked at how many people survived eight common cancers for one year and five years between 2005 and 2009 across England.

These included cancers of the oesophagus, stomach, colon, lung, breast, cervix, prostate and bladder - representing 61 per cent of new cancers diagnosed in 2013.

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