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15 people a day diagnosed with sarcoma cancer

03 July 2018 07:23

15 people in the UK are diagnosed with Sarcoma cancer every day

15 people in the UK are diagnosed with Sarcoma cancer every day

Sarcoma cancer is "more common than previously thought" with 15 people in the UK diagnosed with the illness every day, a charity has warned.

Sarcoma UK issued the caution in the wake of new figures which show more than 5,300 people in the UK being diagnosed every year.

The cancer affects bone and soft tissue, can develop anywhere in the body and is one of the most difficult types to diagnose.

Because of this, the majority of people with the illness are not diagnosed until their tumour is the size of a large tin of baked beans.

The figures were released as part of Sarcoma Awareness Week, which runs from 2-8 July.

Significantly higher

Historical data suggested the number of annual diagnoses was about 3,800 but charity Sarcoma UK said it has found it to be significantly higher than that, with 15 people now diagnosed in the UK each day.

The data is taken from the most recent sets of complete sarcoma data from the four UK nations.

The project, led by the charity, marks the first time in almost a decade that such information has been collated consistently.

With more than 100 sub-types of the disease, the charity said scientific understanding of sarcoma remains modest compared to more common cancers such as breast or prostate.

In 2015, sarcoma made up just 1.3% of all UK cancers diagnosed in that year.

Although survival rates have crept up incrementally in the last two decades, the outlook for people diagnosed with sarcoma remains challenging, with the five-year sarcoma survival rate at 55%.

Accurate picture

Sarah McDonald, acting chief executive of Sarcoma UK, said: "It's time to take sarcoma seriously. For the first time in years, we have a fuller, accurate picture of how sarcoma is affecting the UK population.

"We had suspected, based on the sheer numbers of people contacting Sarcoma UK for support and information every year, that the historical figure of 3,800 diagnoses a year just wasn't an accurate representation of what was really happening.

"This new data now gives us a solid baseline from which to monitor the disease over the coming years."

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