UK & World News
The latest UK & World news stories from the Press Association.
Cancer treatment survival increases
01:05, Jul 2 2012
The number of people surviving after treatment for oesophageal or stomach cancer has risen significantly in the last 10 years, according to new figures.
Nearly 50% of patients with stomach tumours and 45% of those with an oesophageal tumour live for three years after diagnosis compared with only about one third of patients a decade ago, an audit of thousands of sufferers found.
Together, oesophageal and stomach cancers are the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the UK, and affect around 13,500 people each year.
The new statistics are taken from the National Oesophago-Gastric Cancer Audit. It is the first time national data on three year survival rates for this patient group have been published.
The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) said the audit includes information on more than 17,000 patients in England and Wales diagnosed between October 2007 and June 2009 and is the largest audit of its kind in the world.
Surgeons said the figures show that if patients are diagnosed early enough and have curative treatment their chances of long-term survival are stronger.
Stuart Riley, consultant gastroenterologist and member of the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG), said: "Unfortunately, most patients with oesophageal or stomach cancer still report symptoms too late. We need to improve the early diagnosis of the disease to increase the proportion of patients eligible for curative treatment and improve survival rates even further."
The RCS said the improved results reflect better organisation of NHS cancer services in England and Wales. It said the centralisation of cancer services has allowed patients to have better access to the best available treatment.
Richard Hardwick, consultant surgeon and member of the Association of Upper GI Surgeons (AUGIS), said: "Survival of patients undergoing curative surgery for oesophageal or stomach cancer has improved significantly. Our next challenge is to reduce the rates of complications following these major operations so that our patients recover more quickly from their surgery."
The audit was commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership and carried out by a partnership between the Association of Upper Gastro-Intestinal Surgeons, the British Society of Gastroenterology, the Royal College of Radiologists, the Health and Social Care Information Centre and the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
Pair in court over officer's death 14:05, Feb 11 2013
Two homeless men have been charged with causing the death of a young police officer whose patrol car was hit by a stolen 4x4 in Londonderry. more
Pope hailed over decision to quit 14:05, Feb 11 2013
The three most senior figures in the Catholic Church in England and Wales have paid tribute to Pope Benedict XVI after the Pontiff announced he was leaving office on grounds of age and infirmity. more
Cable urges open business policy 13:05, Feb 11 2013
Britain must make sure its borders are "as open as possible" to genuine foreign business visitors and investment, Business Secretary Vince Cable has said. more
Tributes for killed photojournalist 13:05, Feb 11 2013
The family of award-winning British photojournalist Tim Hetherington, who was killed covering the Libyan civil war, have described him as a "wonderful humanitarian". more
BBC staff threaten one-day strike 13:05, Feb 11 2013
BBC journalists are to stage a one-day strike unless the corporation agrees to end compulsory redundancies, it has been warned. more
Briton death sentence appeal filed 10:05, Feb 11 2013
An Indonesian lawyer representing a convicted British grandmother has formally appealed against the death sentence she received for smuggling cocaine worth 2.5 million US dollars (£1.58 million) into the resort island of Bali in a suitcase. more
Legal action plan in horse meat row 09:05, Feb 11 2013
Legal action over the horse meat scandal is to be mounted in Europe, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has said as he described the contamination of beef products as a case of fraud against the public. more
Snow triggers weather warnings 06:05, Feb 11 2013
Parts of the country are waking up to more than four inches of snow, prompting fears of ice and disruption during rush hour. more