Rise in one-year cancer survival rates in Suffolk, figures reveal
PUBLISHED: 08:19 15 December 2019 | UPDATED: 08:19 15 December 2019
Cancer survival rates in Suffolk are on the rise - with figures in the west of the county revealed as the best in the east of England.
One-year survival rates have increased every year in west Suffolk, according to figures published by Public Health England, with a rate of 74.9%, up from 65.1% in 2002.
This is higher than any other CCG in the east and above the national average of 73.3%.
Meanwhile at NHS North East Essex CCG and NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG, the one year cancer survival rates are 72.8% and 71.8%.
Although still below the national average, the figure is up on the previous year and much higher than in 2002, where the figures were 63.8% and 65.4%.
Janet Howard, co-ordinator at Stowmarket and District Cancer Support group, an organisation which helps families with financial and rest bite support while they are undergoing treatment, said she was pleased the survival rate was rising.
She said people were now better at going to the GPs and getting checked.
"I think people are more aware of it these days," she said.
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"People pushed aches and pains away but now are more aware and go to the doctors sooner.
"I would say to people if they have any hesitation, to go and see your GP and get tested."
Dr Christopher Scrase, clinical lead for cancer for the area's integrated care system and consultant clinical oncologist at Ipswich Hospital said it was encouraging to see improvement in cancer rates.
He said: "We know that a positive outcome is best achieved for the patient if they get a cancer diagnosis at an earlier stage.
"If patients have any symptoms that concern that they should not hesitate in making an appointment with their GP to be assessed. I would also strongly encourage people to take up the opportunity for screening through the national programmes."
Richard Watson, deputy chief executive of the three CCGs, added: "It is really pleasing to witness year-on-year improvement to our cancer survival rates along with west Suffolk achieving best in the region.
"Despite this good work there is still a lot more to be done so we can achieve even higher survival rates and a greater level of consistency.
"The key to achieving this will be greater levels of partnership working though the integrated care system.
"I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the many dedicated and hardworking staff who contribute so much to the NHS and do their very best for patients."