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Fears over soaring cancer cases
Charity warns of ‘cracks in the NHS’ as services struggle to cope with 40 per cent rise in cases
The number of people diagnosed with cancer has risen by almost 40 per cent in two decades, experts have said, amid warnings that the NHS is struggling to cope with soaring numbers of cases.
New analysis from Macmillan Cancer Support suggests that in 2016, more than 360,000 people in the UK will be diagnosed with the disease – the equivalent to the entire population of Cardiff being diagnosed.
The figure – a 37 per cent rise from 1996 – means more than 1,000 diagnoses are being made each day.
The increases are largely due to people living longer, and being more likely to develop cancer, as well as improvements detecting the disease.
The charity said the NHS was struggling to cope with demand, with latest figures showing the number of hospital trusts missing cancer waiting time targets has doubled in just one year.
Latest quarterly figures show 64 NHS trusts missing the target to treat 85 per cent of patients in two months, compared with 30 the previous year.
Lynda Thomas, the charity’s chief executive, urged the major political parties to make cancer an election priority.
She said: “Today’s findings are yet more evidence of the frightening magnitude of this disease.
“Cracks in the NHS are already beginning to show. Whichever party is voted in at next year’s election, they will face a colossal challenge to make sure the NHS is ready to support the wave of people who will be diagnosed with cancer during their time in power.
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Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins