Improvement in survival figures for children stricken with cancer

Updated: 

Four in five children who get cancer will survive for at least a decade, new figures show.

Under two in three (63.7%) English children diagnosed with cancer in 1990 could expect to live for 10 years after diagnosis.

But 10-year survival for children diagnosed in 2015 is predicted to be 82.4%, according to new experimental data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS said five-year and 10-year survival for children aged nought to 14 years who have been diagnosed cancer improved throughout 1990 to 2015.

It said increases in survival are likely to be because of improvements in treatment and care.

The most common cancers in children are leukaemia and brain cancer.

Commenting on the figures, Dany Bell, treatment and recovery programme lead at the charity Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "It's fantastic that more children are surviving cancer.

"But it is vital that they get the support they need during and after their treatment, potentially for many years.

"Studies show that childhood cancer survivors are more likely to develop conditions such as heart disease or lung damage when they reach adulthood.

"But doctors and patients can take steps to help reduce this risk.

"Doctors must regularly monitor and advise those who have had cancer, no matter how long ago they were treated.

"Those who have had cancer can also reduce their risk of developing conditions such as heart disease by not smoking, having a balanced diet and engaging in physical activity."

Clare Laxton, head of policy and public affairs at the cancer charity for children and young people, CLIC Sargent, added: "It is welcome news that the number of children dying from cancer each year is decreasing.

"However, treatments can be gruelling and the impact of cancer on a young life can be significant and long-lasting. It is vital to ensure that every child and young person receives support to not just survive cancer, but to thrive."

 

Anna Perman, Cancer Research UK's senior science information manager, said: "These latest figures show the great progress we've made in helping more children survive cancer, but there's more to do to find better treatments.

"Many children who survive cancer will live with long-term side effects of their treatment which may have an impact on them as adults, so it's vital that we find treatments that are kinder too.

"Cancer Research UK is the largest funder of research into children's cancer in the UK and we'll continue to fund research until no young lives are lost to cancer."

Anna Perman, Cancer Research UK's senior science information manager, said: "These latest figures show the great progress we've made in helping more children survive cancer, but there's more to do to find better treatments.

"Many children who survive cancer will live with long-term side-effects of their treatment which may have an impact on them as adults, so it's vital that we find treatments that are kinder too.

"Cancer Research UK is the largest funder of research into children's cancer in the UK and we'll continue to fund research until no young lives are lost to cancer."