Cancer survival rates in Wales continue to rise

The number of people surviving cancer in Wales is continuing to rise.

Vaughan Gething, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, said increasing Cancer survival rates in Wales is something to be proud of, but stressed that continuous improvement is still needed, when he spoke at a Macmillan Cancer Care event recently.

More than half of people will now survive five years after their diagnosis and premature mortality for cancer has fallen around 14 per cent in the past ten years. The 2013 cancer patient experience survey also showed 96 per cent of patients surveyed had a favourable view of their care.

Health boards are working hard to meet the challenging cancer waiting times set by the Welsh Government. As a result, 28 per cent more people were seen, diagnosed and began treatment within the waiting time of the urgent suspected cancer pathway than five years ago.

Vaughan Gething said: “I have been a strong supporter of Macmillan Cancer Care for many years and have seen, first hand, the impressive work they do in supporting people living with cancer.

“I am acutely aware of the challenge we face with the numbers of people experiencing cancer in their lifetime increasing. This is set against a backdrop of increasing pressures on NHS resources.

“I am committed to a collaborative approach in Wales – working with charities like Macmillian and Tenovus – to address the demand on cancer services, getting people the best outcome and experience possible.

“The positive survival rates for cancer that we are seeing are not accidental; they are the result of the hard work of clinicians, managers, planners and the successful implementation of our Cancer Delivery Plan.

“We now need to build on the positives of the plan in this Assembly term, strengthening it, transforming diagnosis in Wales so we capture most cancers in more treatable stages.

“For more and more of us, cancer will be successfully treated but we should never be complacent. I want a healthcare system that delivers world class outcomes and is adaptable to individuals’ needs. A system fully geared up to the latest techniques and clinical trials. The only way we will get there is to work together.”