Why are more people getting cancer treatments than ever before?
A survey of more than 2,000 cancer patients from the US and Europe found that about half of the patients had already had their cancer treated, and the average time between cancer diagnosis and treatment was more than five years.
In Europe, the average was seven years.
“We have a much more progressive and aggressive approach than most other countries, and I think that’s partly because we’ve done a lot of research on how to treat the disease,” said Professor David King, head of the cancer programme at Imperial College London.
The UK has one of the highest cancer rates in Europe, with one in three people living with the disease.
The NHS, which spends billions on cancer treatments each year, has been slow to respond to the disease and the rise of new, novel treatments has caused frustration and confusion for patients.
But the findings are an indication that new approaches are being tested and improved.
“It’s a very timely time,” said Dr Martin Eysenck, director of the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).
“We are starting to see a very rapid pace of development in cancer treatments.”
What causes the rising numbers?
A lack of understanding about how the body develops is a major factor in the rapid rise in cancer cases.
“A number of factors are probably involved, including the ageing of the population, increased risk factors and more awareness of the disease.”
Professor King said the rise in cases was partly caused by the “gold standard” of genetic tests, which can be used to determine whether someone has the disease or not.
“Genetic testing is a very powerful tool, but the quality of the testing has been very poor,” he said.
These are really important for public health.” “
The other big factor is the increase in genetic testing and testing for other diseases that are common in Europe.
These are really important for public health.”
However, many people are not taking the genetic test or other tests for other reasons, such as financial worries.
“In England and Wales, about 80 per cent of people aged 60 or over do not take genetic testing or other testing,” said Eysonck.
“They do so out of a sense of shame or a lack of knowledge about the disease, or because they are not going to have the test.”
Another key reason is the rise and spread of viruses.
“Over the past 15 years, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in coronavirus infections, and we’ve also seen an increase in the number of people contracting MRSA, a superbug that can be spread from person to person,” he added.
What can you do to prevent cancer?
The NHS is currently conducting an online survey about how to prevent cancers and is working with the world’s leading cancer experts to develop strategies for treating cancers.
“Our hope is that we can identify some of the factors that are making people more vulnerable to cancer,” said King.
“For example, our research suggests that we need to make sure that people get the right dose of cancer treatment, so that they can get the proper treatment at the right time.”
The UK currently spends £1.8 billion a year on cancer care, which is almost twice the world average.
This money is split between a cancer-specific programme and a cancer fund, which provides money for cancer treatments across the NHS.
The new NHS guidelines suggest that cancer patients should get the most effective cancer treatment at a cost of £2,400 ($3,000) per patient per year, with more than half of that coming from the fund.
What are the best ways to prevent the spread of cancer?
There are some steps you can take to protect yourself from the spread.
For example, you can wear clothes that are at least 10 centimetres (4 inches) wide or less.
Also, wear clothes with good ventilation, like wool and polyester.
It can also help to wear face masks, which have been linked to the spread and survival of MRSA.
“These measures are very important to take, but you need to take the right actions at the correct time,” Dr Eysentck said.
This article was produced by New Scientist.
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