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Increasing number of cancer survivors is putting pressure on NHS, says charity

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g7841 (Published 06 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:g7841
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The number of UK people alive after diagnosis of or treatment for cancer has risen by 500 000 in the past five years, to reach 2.5 million, the charity Macmillan Cancer Support has said. Though providing encouraging evidence of a better prognosis for people with cancer, this growing group of survivors itself poses problems for the NHS, the charity said.

Around a quarter of people treated for cancer face poor health or disability after treatment. Of the 2.5 million people living with cancer, 1.6 million were given their diagnosis more than five years ago, but five year survival—generally counted as a cure—does …

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