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Every day 81 people in Yorkshire and the Humber hear the devastating news that they have cancer, and 39 people die from the illness. This will see Yorkshire and the Humber’s population of people living with cancer increase to an estimated 175,700 by 2030.
In a new report ‘Cancer: Then and Now’, Macmillan reveals for the first time the number of cancer survivors from the 1970s and 1980s in the UK as 170,000 people. People on average are twice as likely to survive at least 10 years after being diagnosed with cancer than they were at the start of the 1970s. These improvements in survival are partly due to earlier diagnosis – by way of screening programmes and advances in diagnostic tools, as well as more refined treatment.

The report compares the diagnosis, treatment and care of cancer then, to the experiences of cancer in the 2010s. While documenting drastic improvements over this time, particularly in available treatments, it also acts as a stark reminder that cancer continues to be a devastating diagnosis and one which affects a person long after their treatment has finished.
It highlights the consistent and growing support the charity offers people affected by cancer, including the introduction of Macmillan nurses in 1975 to the first Macmillan-trained benefits adviser in 2005. The charity has launched its brand new advertising campaign which shows the breadth of services available to people affected by cancer such as Macmillan professionals, information and services and warns that demand for these services will continue to grow as more people with cancer live longer.
Local use of Macmillan services in Yorkshire and the Humber:
• 4,349 people called the Macmillan Support Line
• 5,471 people were helped by our Mobile Information Support Service
• 6,117 people received Macmillan Grants
While the charity provides a range of information through its website, mobile units and information centres, it is vital that the NHS ensures patients are given all the right support and know where to find information and help when they need it. Worryingly, recent analysis from Macmillan shows an estimated 116,000 cancer patients last year in England did not have the potential long-term side effects from their cancer fully explained to them.
Paul McCavana, Head of Services for the North, at Macmillan Cancer Support, says: “We know that thousands of people across Yorkshire and the Humber are living with cancer, but while it is not always life-ending, it is life-changing and we need to ensure that people who have had the disease or who are living with it have a good quality of life and tailored, appropriate support.
“Our report highlights the ever-changing story of cancer in this country. We want to remind those living in Yorkshire and the Humber that there are many Macmillan services available to help people not only cope with the devastating news that they have cancer, but the impact this has on their work, finances, relationships and of course, their health. We’re still here, as we were decades ago, to reach as many people affected by this disease as we can – as the numbers rise and their needs get more complex.”

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