Cancer prevalence set to treble

August 21, 2012
Cancer prevalence set to treble

(Medical Xpress) -- The number of older people (aged 65 and over) living with cancer in the UK is set to more than treble by 2040 – from 1.3 million in 2010 to 4.1 million – according to a new study by King’s College London researchers.

The Macmillan-funded study, published in The British Journal of , shows nearly one in four (23 per cent) will have had a cancer diagnosis in 2040 – almost double the proportion in 2010 (13 per cent). This is nearly four times the proportion for people aged 45-64.

Lung cancer prevalence in older women will see the biggest increase. The prevalence of lung cancer in older women will more than double from in 2010 to 2040 (from 319 to 831 per 100, 000), whereas lung cancer prevalence in older men is expected to decrease. This is due to a dramatic decline in smoking among men in England since the 1970s.

The sharp rise in cancer prevalence is likely to be due to a number of reasons including the ageing population, increasing incidence and increasing cancer survival.

Professor Henrik Møller, one of the study authors at King’s, says: ‘The aim of this research is to provide long term projections of cancer prevalence in the UK. The research shows that large increases can be expected in the oldest age groups in the coming decades and with this an increased demand upon health services.’

Currently older face a multitude of barriers to getting the best care and . These include under treatment, a lack of practical support at home preventing them from going to hospital to get treatment and poor management of non-cancer related health problems.

Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: ‘The care of older cancer patients is the ticking time bomb for society. These stark predictions should act as a warning to the NHS and social care providers of the problems ahead if older cancer patients are not offered the best treatment and support.

‘We have a moral duty to give people the best chance of beating cancer, regardless of their age. For cancer survival to improve, older people must be given the right treatment at the correct level of intensity, together with the practical support to enable them to take it up.

‘The barriers to older people getting treatment must be tackled. If we don’t get this right now many older people will be dying unnecessarily from cancer in the future.’

Macmillan is calling for a more effective way of assessing older people for treatment, more short-term practical support to enable them to take up recommended treatment and training for professionals working with older people within the NHS to promote age equality.

Macmillan, in partnership with Age UK and the Department of Health, has set up five pilots to test new models of older people’s care. They will report in December 2012.

Explore further: Age affects risk of being diagnosed with cancer at advanced stage

More information: Maddams J, Utley M and Møller H. 2012. 'Projections of cancer prevalence in the United Kingdom, 2010–2040'. British Journal of Cancer. www.nature.com/bjc/journal/vao … ull/bjc2012366a.html

Related Stories

Age affects risk of being diagnosed with cancer at advanced stage

March 2, 2012
Older women with breast cancer face a higher risk of being diagnosed with the disease at a late stage, while the risk of an advanced stage diagnosis of lung cancer decreases with age, a new study shows today.

Elderly breast cancer patients less likely to get surgery

June 17, 2011
(PhysOrg.com) -- University of Manchester researchers, working with colleagues in York, Leeds and Hull, looked at the records of more than 23,000 women with breast cancer diagnosed in the West Midlands, Yorkshire and North ...

Almost half of cancer survivors have ill health in later years

October 11, 2011
Forty-five per cent of cancer survivors in Northern Ireland suffer from physical and mental health problems years after their treatment has finished, according to new research from Macmillan Cancer Support and Queen's University ...

Women, elderly, minorities poorly represented in lung cancer drug trial data submitted to US FDA

July 6, 2011
Women, older people and minorities are enrolled less frequently in lung cancer drug trials and the numbers do not reflect the prevalence of lung cancer in these populations, according to research presented at the 14th World ...

Report estimates nearly 18 million cancer survivors in US by 2022

June 14, 2012
The number of Americans with a history of cancer, currently estimated to be 13.7 million, will grow to almost 18 million by 2022, according to a first-ever report by the American Cancer Society in collaboration with the National ...

Recommended for you

Researchers unravel novel mechanism by which tumors grow resistant to radiotherapy

November 23, 2017
A Ludwig Cancer Research study has uncovered a key mechanism by which tumors develop resistance to radiation therapy and shown how such resistance might be overcome with drugs that are currently under development. The discovery ...

African Americans face highest risk for multiple myeloma yet underrepresented in research

November 23, 2017
Though African-American men are three times more likely to be diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, most scientific research on the disease has been based on people of European descent, according to a study ...

Encouraging oxygen's assault on iron may offer new way to kill lung cancer cells

November 22, 2017
Blocking the action of a key protein frees oxygen to damage iron-dependent proteins in lung and breast cancer cells, slowing their growth and making them easier to kill. This is the implication of a study led by researchers ...

One-size treatment for blood cancer probably doesn't fit all, researchers say

November 22, 2017
Though African-American men are three times more likely to be diagnosed with a blood cancer called multiple myeloma, most scientific research on the disease has been based on people of European descent, according to a study ...

One in four U.S. seniors with cancer has had it before

November 22, 2017
(HealthDay)—For a quarter of American seniors, a cancer diagnosis signals the return of an old foe, new research shows.

Combination immunotherapy targets cancer resistance

November 22, 2017
Cancer immunotherapy drugs have had notable but limited success because in many cases, tumors develop resistance to treatment. But researchers at Yale and Stanford have identified an experimental antibody that overcomes this ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.