Cancer: Then and Now

Macmillan have today released a detailed report that looks at how cancer treatment and care has progressed over the last 40 years. Cancer is no longer necessarily the ‘death sentence’ that it was 40-50 years ago. Early diagnosis is key, but you are now twice as likely to survive cancer than you were in the 1970s. However, cancer remains an experience that will forever change the lives not only of those diagnosed but and also their friends and families, whatever the outcome.

As DCC Director Robin Pritchard explains: “The report highlights the increase in the number of people now living with cancer, either as an ongoing chronic condition or with the lifelong effects that the treatment or psychological impact of diagnosis has had on them. We hear more and more from people who have had successful treatment who then find that what has happened to them has changed them forever – sometimes in a very positive way. But what that means is that now, more than ever, we need to have support services and support networks available to people to help them navigate the changes that happen to them during and after treatment.

The information and support services we help provide at Guy’s and St Thomas’, such as psychological support groups, 1 on 1 counselling and complementary therapies to help people deal with stress, anxiety and pain management are needed nationwide. We are currently developing a new online resource that will help signpost care and support services in your local area. People are often not aware of what support services are available to them or where they can turn for help.

The effects of cancer can last a lifetime. We also need to support and help those who are providing that support and care to their loved ones, friend and family. Cancer has such a wide reaching impact that goes far beyond the original diagnosis and treatment.”

You can read the report in full here.

For information and advice on cancer care and support following a cancer diagnosis contact your local cancer information service or click here for more information.