Cancer is a major cause of ill-health and death. It is estimated that one in two people born after 1960 in the UK will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime. By 2020, there will be nearly two million people aged 65 and over with a cancer diagnosis.
Nationally, there were 136,116 deaths from cancer in 2013. It is generally recognised that cancer causes more than one in four of all deaths and that half of these occur in people aged 75 and over.
In Warwickshire, there are approximately 2,500 new cases of cancer diagnosed each year. There are around 1,400 deaths from cancer each year across the county, representing 28.% of all deaths.
The level of need varies depending on the ‘site’ and ‘stage’ of the cancer. In line with national trends, there continues to be an overall increase in the number and rate of new cases of cancer each year, but a falling rate of deaths. The rate of all new cancer cases per 100,000 population in 2010-2012 in Warwickshire is 553, which is significantly lower than the equivalent England rate of 586.
The under-75 mortality rate from cancer in Warwickshire (131.2 per 100,000) is significantly lower than the West Midlands (147.8 per 100,000) and England rates (144.4 per 100,000).
At District/Borough level, both Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick Districts have lower mortality rates than England. All the other areas have an under 75 mortality rate similar to the England rate.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in females, accounting for just under one in three newly diagnosed cases of cancer in 2012. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in males, accounting for just over one in four newly diagnosed cases of cancer in males in 2012. Lung & bowel cancer were the second and third most common cancers in both males and females in 2012.
In the last five years, almost 600,000 cancer cases in the UK could have been prevented. More than four in ten (42%) cases of cancer in the UK could be prevented by lifestyle changes, such as not smoking, keeping a healthy body weight, reducing alcohol consumption, eating a healthy balanced diet, keeping active, staying safe and others.
Over three quarters (77%) of eligible women aged 53-70 (48,900 women) in Warwickshire have been screened for breast cancer within 3 years of their last test, which is significantly higher than the England (75.9%) and West Midlands (76.5%) rates.
Men have higher reported cancer incidence than women. The age-standardised cancer incidence rate is 26.0% higher for males than females. The incidence of cancer generally increases with age.
Cancers occurring in children, teenagers and young adults (0 to 24) are rare, registrations in this age group accounted for 1.1% of total cancer registrations in England. Cancer registrations for those aged 70 and above accounted for 49.9% of total registrations.
For the majority of cancer types, incidence is generally higher in people living in more deprived areas, particularly for smoking-related cancers. There are around 15,000 extra cases of cancer each year in England due to socio-economic variation.
Annual NHS costs for cancer services are £5 billion, but the cost to society as a whole – including costs for loss of productivity – is £18.3 billion.