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London cancer survival figures underline the importance of early diagnosis

One quarter of patients diagnosed with cancer after attending a London emergency services department will die within two months, latest research suggests.

Average survival rates of people with cancer attending London A&Es was less than six months

Picture credit: Alamy

Between January and August 2013, researchers based at London Cancer which works to improve cancer care in north east and central London and west Essex measured the survival of 963 patients who were diagnosed with cancer following emergency presentations at 12 London A&E departments.

They found that the average survival rate was less than six months, with just 36% of patients surviving beyond a year. Half of all patients under the age of 65 had died 14 months from diagnosis, with 55% surviving beyond one year.

Half of 65 to 75 year olds died within five months, with only 25% making it past one year, and half of patients aged over 75 died after just three months, with only one quarter surviving past one year. The most

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Average survival rates of people with cancer attending London A&Es was less than six months

Picture credit: Alamy

Between January and August 2013, researchers based at London Cancer – which works to improve cancer care in north east and central London and west Essex – measured the survival of 963 patients who were diagnosed with cancer following emergency presentations at 12 London A&E departments.

They found that the average survival rate was less than six months, with just 36% of patients surviving beyond a year. Half of all patients under the age of 65 had died 14 months from diagnosis, with 55% surviving beyond one year.

Half of 65 to 75 year olds died within five months, with only 25% making it past one year, and half of patients aged over 75 died after just three months, with only one quarter surviving past one year. The most common cancers diagnosed in A&E were lung, bowel and hepatopancreatobiliary.

Study author Kathy Pritchard-Jones, chief medical officer for London Cancer, said the ‘shocking figures’ confirm what is already known about early diagnosis making a huge difference to the chances of surviving cancer.

‘Finding ways to diagnose patients earlier, and through managed pathways, is crucial to improving the UK’s cancer survival to the standard of comparable countries,’ she said.

The study results were presented on November 2 at the National Cancer Research Institute Cancer Conference in Liverpool.

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