Significant drop in cancer deaths predicted over next two decades

CANCER deaths are expected to drop by 15 per cent over the next 20 years, according to figures released by Cancer Research UK.

This equates to an estimated 400,000 fewer deaths from cancer over the next two decades.

In 2014, 311 out of every 100,000 people died from cancer but by 2035 this number is predicted to drop to 280 per 100,000 people. This is attributed largely to improvements in detection, diagnosis and treatments.

But research has identified excessive variation in death rates for different kinds of cancer. Progress in both pancreatic and brain cancer survival has been limited. Only three in 100 people survive pancreatic cancer for five years or more and this has remained the same for the last few decades. Deaths from brain cancer are also predicted to remain static over the next 20 years with around one in five surviving the disease for five years.

Sir Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: "Today, at this very moment, thousands of our world class scientists and doctors are working at laboratory benches and directly with patients, trying to discover the cancer treatments of tomorrow.

"Thanks to research fewer people will die from cancer in the future. We’re resolute that, by 2034, three in four people will survive their cancer for at least 10 years. This will mean making more progress in breast, bowel and blood cancers, but also accelerating our effort in those cancers which are currently hard to treat.

"We’ve increased our research investment in those cancer types where survival remains stubbornly low."