According to new figures, tens of thousands of patients with the UK’s four most common cancers were diagnosed before their 45th birthday.
The research by Macmillan Cancer Support and Public Health England’s National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN), revealed that almost 80,000 people in the UK are living with breast, lung, prostate or colorectal cancer, after being diagnosed before their 45th birthday.
The figures, which have been labelled “shocking” by Macmillan Cancer Support, have prompted health experts to warn young people against being complacent about cancer.
The figures show that 550 people living with prostate cancer, 2,000 with lung cancer, 10,000 with colorectal cancer and 66,500 with breast cancer, were diagnosed before the age of 45. Around 30,000 of them were diagnosed more than 10 years ago.
The figures for prostate, colorectal and lung cancer are particularly alarming as these are cancers normally associated with older patients. Although cancer can be diagnosed at any age, the biggest risk factor for the majority of cancers is age.
The NHS needs to do more to support younger patients living with cancer especially as so many such patients may be struggling to support their families and deal with the huge emotional impact of being diagnosed with cancer whilst also undergoing treatment.
The side effects associated with cancer treatment such as fatigue, pain and depression can obviously be extremely debilitating, and may continue to affect patients throughout the rest of their lives. As such, it is crucial the government looks at how it can provide better services to deal with the complex, long-term care needs of patients once their treatment has ended.
People under 45 diagnosed with the four main cancers account for 10% of new cancer cases in the UK. Early diagnosis is crucial to improve cancer survival and it is imperative young people check themselves regularly for symptoms and change the widespread perception that cancers only affect older generations.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers help people who have suffered from delayed or wrong diagnosis of cancer due to Medical Negligence.
For a free consultation call the Medical Negligence Solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9049 or contact us online and we will call you.