Cancer survival rates in Dover and Deal are up 17.2% since 2000, according to new figures published this week. In 2015, 71.3% of people with cancer survived at least a year after diagnosis, compared to 54.1% in 2000. Since 2009, cancer survival rates for patients in the South Kent Coast Clinical Commissioning Group area (comprising Dover, Deal, Folkestone and Hythe) have gone up by 7.7%, compared to the 4.2% increase nationally.
We have all been close to people taken in by cancer's cruel and indiscriminate reach. The good news is that survival rates in Dover and Deal are improving at almost double the speed of the rest of the country. For years we were near the bottom of the table for so many measures of healthcare. Now things have significantly improved.
We have fought long and hard to get our fair share of healthcare in Dover and Deal. With the brand new hospital in Dover, Deal hospital saved, and more investment in technology, medicines and staff than ever, residents are finally getting the better healthcare they deserve.
Cancer survival rates across England are up 11.1%, from 61.2% in 2000 to 72.3% in 2015. The Government has spent more than £1.2 billion on the Cancer Drugs Fund – helping around 90,000 people to access life-extending drugs. It also announced a £130 million fund to modernise radiotherapy equipment and an extra £15 million improving early diagnosis and setting up Cancer Alliances for leadership across local areas.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) spending on cancer research has risen from £101 million in 2010/11 to £135 million in 2014/15. Last year there were seven million more diagnostic tests than in 2010, while 57,000 more patients started cancer treatment.
In December the NHS published its latest Cancer Workforce Plan, setting out aims by 2021 to recruit 1,281 more cancer consultants (a 21% increase since 2016), 2,845 more diagnostic radiographers by 2021 (an 18% increase since 2016) and a major expansion of cancer nurse specialists.
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