News | Durkan calls for world-class one-year cancer survival rates

Durkan calls for world-class one-year cancer survival rates

SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has taken up a new role as Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPGC) at Westminster, and is calling for improving one-year cancer survival rates in Derry and throughout the North. By 2020, almost half of the UK population will receive a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime. However, cancer survival rates in the North and Britain are among the worst in Europe – not least because many people are diagnosed too late. The APPGC believes that this must change.

At the first meeting of the new parliamentary term’s APPGC – which brings together MPs and Peers from across the political spectrum to debate key issues and campaign together to improve cancer services – Mr Durkan was presented with the cancer survival rates in Northern Ireland which showed that on average 69.1% of local people will live for a year after diagnosis. By comparison, the one-year survival rate in Sweden is 81%.

Mr Durkan said: “Only 68.5% of people in the Western Trust area – and 69.1% on average in Northern Ireland – live for a year or more after a cancer diagnosis. In Sweden, the figure is 81%.

“More work is therefore needed through earlier diagnosis to increase this number, as we have among the lowest survival rates in Europe.

“Better screening uptake, diagnostics at Primary Care, public awareness and GP training are all possible initiatives which would help.

“Indeed, improving early diagnosis is key to improving cancer survival rates, and would save many lives each year as a result."

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