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Cancer deaths 'costing UK economy'

17 September 2015 09:25

The economy is losing out because of cancer deaths, research suggests

The economy is losing out because of cancer deaths, research suggests

Cancer deaths among working-age people come at a heavy cost to the UK economy, claims a new report.

Rethinking Cancer, put together by the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK), estimates the 50,000 people of working age who lose their lives to the disease every year would have contributed £585 million in 2014.

Individuals who die from lung cancer would have contributed £125 million alone, it said, rising to £1.2 billion over their lifetimes.

'Moral obligation'

One in four people die from cancer, accounting for more than 160,000 deaths every year.

With the number of people diagnosed with the disease expected to rise from 330,000 per year to 430,000 by 2030, more could die - meaning the £585 million figure is also likely to jump upwards.

Cross-bench peer Baroness Sally Greengross, chief executive of ILC-UK, says the Government and health professionals have a moral obligation to continue to improve cancer survival rates and better support cancer survivors.

She claims better prevention, swifter diagnosis, and enhanced treatment, care and after-care are needed, along with better support to help patients gain the confidence they need to return to the workplace.

Travel plans

Cancer patients and survivors can still lead normal lives. This includes everything from going to work to going on holiday.

Cancer travel insurance makes the latter possible by providing cover for medical expenses, giving people the peace of mind they need to enjoy their travels.

Survival gap

The report states the 1.8 million people living with cancer and those who have survived it contribute around £6.9 billion to the UK economy each year through being employed.

They add a further £15.2 billion by providing 258 million hours of care, 52 million hours of volunteering and 1.5 billion hours of domestic work.

But it claims cancer deaths result in the loss of caregivers for children, older relatives, partners and friends.

More needs to be done to improve the UK's low survival rates, according to the experts behind the study.