Breast And Prostate Cancer Survival Rates Improve But Are Low For Pancreatic And Stomach Cancer

Survival rates for breast and prostate cancer continue to improve but remain low for pancreatic and stomach cancer, new figures show.

More than 80% of patients are still alive five years after being diagnosed with breast, prostate and melanoma skin cancer as are those with Hodgkin lymphoma.

But the data, from the Office for National Statistics, showed five-year survival for cancers of the brain, lung, oesophagus, pancreas and stomach is 21% or less among both men and women.

Five-year survival from pancreatic cancer remains the lowest in both sexes at 5%.

The data covers patients in England diagnosed from 2007 to 2011 and followed up to 2012.

Mike Hobday, director of policy and research at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "It is disappointing to see survival rates for some rarer cancers still lagging behind the majority of the most common types.

"People with pancreatic cancer still have the lowest chance (5%) of surviving five years after diagnosis.

"Whilst those with colorectal cancer (57%) are around 11 times more likely to be alive at least five years later.

"Every cancer patient should expect the very best chances of survival - no matter what type of the disease they have.

"It is vital that the variation between cancer types continues to be monitored and reported at a national level.

"We also need further research to allow us to better understand the reasons for these inequalities in cancer survival so that we can take action to address them."