Judi Rhys MBE, Chief Executive at Tenovus Cancer Care, said: “The cancer survival statistics released yesterday by Public Health Wales for 2002 to 2020 are alarming, although not unexpected.
We are most concerned about the survival gap between the most and least deprived areas, which has widened by up to 10% for some cancers. We know there are further inequalities when it comes to ethnicity, but without accurate data in this area, we cannot begin to address them effectively. Our data collection is far poorer than our counterparts in England and this must change for us to meet the needs of our communities.
Despite the expected impact of the pandemic, it’s disappointing to see the drop in one-year survival. Lung cancer screening – the biggest cancer killer in Wales - would have a huge impact on overall survival, if implemented. This is something we’ve repeatedly called for and these latest statistics should send a clear message to Welsh Government that plans to deliver on cancer survival initiatives must be prioritised and accelerated.
Unless we do something drastic, the challenge of an ageing population is only going to further exasperate cancer survival statistics. The NHS needs to work differently to come up with new models of care fit for the future.
We understand people affected by cancer are facing extremely difficult times. Our specialist support services are here for anyone who needs us. The support of charities, such as ours, are needed now more than ever.”