A new report by Teenage Cancer Trust has found an encouraging increase in survival rates in the 13 to 24-year-age group.  

Key findings from the report include:

  • Mortality rates of all cancers combined in 13 to 24 year olds have decreased from 42.9 per million in 2001 to 32.3 per million in 2015.
  • The largest reduction in mortality by diagnostic group in England between 2001 and 2015 has been in Leukaemias. There were also reductions seen in mortality from Central Nervous System tumours, bone cancer and in lymphoma.
  • Five-year survival rates for cancer in 13 to 24 year olds have risen from 83% females / 80% males in (2001-05) to 87% in females / 84 % males (2007-11).
  • There are statistically significant variations in incidence and survival rates of cancer in 13 to 24 year olds based on geography and deprivation.  
  • The incidence of cancer in 13 to 24 years olds in England has increased from a crude rate of 233.1 per million in 2001, to 299.7 per million in 2015.   

It’s important to note that cancer amongst young people remains incredibly rare, affecting on average 2,397 young people in England between 2013 to 2015. As a proportion of overall cancer incidence in all ages, cancer in young people is less than 1 per cent.

“It’s fantastic that this new report shows for the first time that cancer survival rates are improving in young people,” said Kate Collins, Chief Executive of Teenage Cancer Trust. “This hugely positive shift has occurred since the decision by NICE in 2005 to recognise and treat teenagers and young adults as a unique patient group and embedded within the NHS the model of care pioneered and invested in by Teenage Cancer Trust.”

 “Despite the encouraging progress being made on survival rates, now is not a time for complacency but even more action. NHS England in their long-term plan explicitly recognised the need to prioritise young people with cancer including a move to record the DNA of every child with cancer to develop personalised treatment and an aim of 50 per cent of young people with cancer accessing clinical trials by 2025. Their implementation plan will be key in meeting these targets, especially further investing in an expert workforce and creating effective and integrated staff networks.”    

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Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.

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