Cancer death rates drop in the east of England by 24 per cent in 20 years

The death rate from cancer in the eastern region has fallen by almost a quarter since 1990, according to new figures released by Cancer Research UK this week.

Every year, around 29,300 people are diagnosed with cancer in the region.

Research has proved to be the key factor in reducing the number of lives lost to cancer, the charity says, with improved knowledge about preventing the disease, surgical techniques, precisely targeted radiotherapy and more effective drugs all boosting the outcome for patients.

Death rates show that the proportion of people in the UK who are dying of cancer has fallen dramatically even though more people are being diagnosed with the disease. The rising number of diagnoses is largely due to the UK’s ageing population and cancer being more common in older people.

In 1990, 220 in every 100,000 people in the UK died of cancer. Thanks to research improving the outcome for patients, this fell overall by 22 per cent to 170 per 100,000 in 2011.

The news comes as Cancer Research UK prepares to launch its new campaign with a TV advert on Boxing Day (December 26). The film interweaves two narratives. The first strand is the life of baby girl born in 2014, from her conception, to her birth, her early years, her adolescence, right up to her diagnosis with cancer in her 40s. The second strand is all the research into cancer that will be carried out between now and that moment.

The message is clear that by supporting Cancer Research UK, more research can be funded which will mean that one day in the future everyone will beat cancer.

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Lynn Daly, Cancer Research UK spokesman for Essex, said: “Today cancer can be beaten and as these new figures show, mortality rates from this much feared disease are dropping significantly as the fruits of research are producing more effective treatments with fewer side effects

“But while we’re heading in the right direction, too many lives are still being lost to the disease, highlighting how much more work there is to do. Our aim is that one day everyone will beat cancer and the more research we can fund, the sooner that day will come.

‘That’s why we’re calling on people in Essex to back our new campaign and help us bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. It’s not just technology or knowledge that we need to win our fight against cancer – it’s funding.”

Cancer Research UK was able to spend nearly £44 million in the region last year on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research.

The charity is calling on everyone to help beat cancer sooner. There are many ways to get involved, whether it’s making a regular donation, donating goods to the nearest Cancer Research UK shop, signing up now to take part in Dryathlon and raise money by giving up alcohol in January, volunteering, or entering Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life 2014.

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