SURVIVAL rates for colorectal cancer patients in Herefordshire and Worcestershire one year on from their diagnosis has fallen slightly in recent years.

NHS figures show 81.7 per cent of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the former NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG in 2020 survived the first year.

This is down slightly from a survival rate of 81.9 per cent in 2019.

However, it was up from a one-year survival rate of 79 per cent a decade prior in 2010.

Cancer Research UK said national figures show improvements in cancer survival, yet also highlight disparity across England.

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Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK chief executive, said: "Our chances of surviving cancer should not vary depending on where we live."

She added workforce shortages are a critical barrier in delivering timely diagnosis and treatment for cancer patients and called on the government to publish a fully costed workforce plan for England to improve staff recruitment and retainment.

The survival rate for all cancer patients one year on from diagnosis reached 74.6 per cent in 2020 – up from 68.7 per cent a decade prior.

In Herefordshire and Worcestershire, it has increased from 69.6 per cent in 2010 to 74.4 per cent in 2020.

Dame Cally Palmer, NHS national cancer director, said it is "fantastic" that cancer survival rates have been rising steadily over the last decade.

She said: "The NHS is pulling out all the stops so we can boost that even further," she added.

“So, as ever people should come forward for checks if they have concerns – the NHS is here for you.”

The data also shows the one-year survival rate for women with breast cancer in Herefordshire and Worcestershire increased from 96.6 per cent in 2010 to 97.3 per cent in 2020.

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Lung cancer patients' survival rate was 45.6 per cent in 2020 – up from 34.1 per cent a decade prior.

Helen Whately, health minister, said: "These figures are highly encouraging and support those released earlier this year which show improved survival rates across almost all types of cancer.

They are evidence of the great strides being made by the NHS, scientists, and our incredible cancer charities.

"Our ambition is to diagnose 75 per cent of cancer at an early stage by 2028 which will help save tens of thousands of lives for longer."