I joined a call for action on the less survivable cancers: lung, liver, brain, oesophageal, stomach and pancreatic cancer. There is an unacceptable survivable gap between these cancers and other, more common cancers.
70,000 people each year in the UK are diagnosed with a less survivable cancer. Despite making up a quarter of all cancer diagnoses, they account for nearly half of all deaths.
Across the UK, less survivable cancer patients have less than a 16% chance of surviving more than 5 years after diagnosis. This is compared to a survival rate of over 68% for other, more common cancers.
Less survivable cancers are half as likely to be diagnosed early compared to other cancers.
Early diagnosis is essential if we are to close the survival gap.
Awareness and understanding of less survivable cancers needs to be improved - for example, two-thirds of UK adults say they are unaware of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer which means too many people do not seek help until it is too late. We know awareness campaigns have positive results so this is essential if we are to improve survival rates on these cancers.