Cancer is a leading public health challenge – a condition that in all its forms (and there are over 200 different kinds of cancer), is likely to affect one in two during their lifetime. Over 40% of cancers are thought to be preventable however, so working with partners across the system to tackle inequalities, improve screening rates, increase awareness among the public of signs and symptoms (which in turn can improve earlier diagnosis and more effective treatment) and reduce the impact of the major risk factors such as smoking, obesity and alcohol, is crucial.
In July 2021, Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance published its first report on the impact of COVID-19 on cancer health inequalities to assess the impact of the pandemic on suspected cancer referrals and treatments for new cancers analysed by geography, tumour group, age, gender, deprivation and ethnicity. It showed that there had been a significant increase in inequities, in particular, a reduction in referrals from the most deprived neighbourhoods and amongst the elderly. This second report considers an additional six months’ worth of data and includes new intelligence, such as data relating to the stage of disease at the time of diagnosis. It shows that many of the inequities highlighted in the first report are still evident, but the impact is flattening out as time progresses.
In this report, Marie Curie present new and timely evidence on out-of-hours care, derived from UK data on out-of-hours emergency department attendance among people who are in the last year of life, interviews with health professionals about out-of-hours services across the UK, and a patient and public involvement (PPI) workshop (see ‘The people's perspective section of the report for more information) and address major questions about out-of-hours care in the community for people approaching the end of their lives.
The information and support given to patients living with and beyond cancer was recognised by staff and patients as needing improvement. Healthwatch Wirral received feedback from people that it was difficult to move on with their lives after cancer. Staff working closely with people living with cancer also identified that patients lacked support following discharge. Cancer survival rates were improving, but the support was not adapting to the needs of survivors. The feedback from staff and people living beyond cancer highlights a need for change by One Wirral CIC.
The information presented at this link provides statistics and information on cancer incidence, mortality, survival and risk factors (causes) by cancer type and is produced by Cancer Research UK.
Cancer JSNA (previous chapter) (July 2015)