Cancer

Introduction

Cancer is a common condition and is a serious health problem, both in the UK and across the North East of England. One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetimes. There are hundreds of differnt types of cancer. The most common cancers in the UK are:

  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Colorectal cancer

Risk factors for cancer include smoking, drinking alcohol, obesity, poor diet, lack of exercise and prolonged exposure to sunlight. Our cancer risk is greatly affected by the way we live our lives. Research suggests that half of all cancers could be prevented by changes to our lifestyle.

Treatments for cancer include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Some cancers cancers can be cured if detected early enough.

There are large inequalities in incidence, mortality and survival for cancer; there is also inequity along the patient pathway. In a region typified by large inequalities working to understand these inequalities is key.

Highlight figures

  • There were 258,068 new cases of cancer in England in 2008, of those 14,330 were in the North East.

  • There were 125,821 deaths from cancer across England in 2009, of those 7,557 were in the North East.

  • In England the age standardised incidence of all cancers (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) was 389.3 per 100,000 population for 2004-2008.

  • In the North East the age standardised incidence of cancer is higher than the national average, 416.2 per 100,000 population for 2004-2008.

  • The age standardised mortality rate for all cancers (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) is also higher in the North East compared to England with 177.3 per 100,000 population in England compared to 207.4 per 100,000 population in the North East for 2005-2009.

  • Under 75 mortality rates for all cancers (excluding non melanoma skin cancer) have fallen across the North East and each of the PCTs regionally. This shows excellent progress against the 2010 target of reducing early mortality from cancer by 20% based on 1995-1997 figures. There are some interesting trends for certain cancers by gender at PCT level, although not necessarlity affecting the 2010 target these differences should be investigated.

A full report can be viewed at nepho publications

  • Survival rates for all cancers are not favoured as prognosis for different cancers are difficult to combine. One and five year relative survival for lung cancer, colorectal cancer, female breast cancer and prostate cancer are more useful figures.
Lung Cancer 1 Year Relative Survival Lung Cancer 5 Year Relative Survival
England 29.4% England 8.0%
North East 28.9% North East 7.5%
Colorectal Cancer 1 Year Relative Survival Colorectal Cancer 5 Year Relative Survival
England 74.2% England 53.0%
North East 73.2% North East 50.2%
Breast Cancer 1 Year Relative Survival Breast Cancer 5 Year Relative Survival
England 95.9% England 83.7%
North East 96.1% North East 82.9%
Prostate Cancer 1 Year Relative Survival Prostate Cancer 5 Year Relative Survival
England 95.1% England 82.7%
North East 95.6% North East 80.5%