1/5 NI cancer patients die within six months

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Period12 Mar 2019

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • Title1/5 NI cancer patients die within six months
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletCool FM
    Media typeWeb
    Duration/Length/Size26 secs
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

    One in five people in Northern Ireland diagnosed with cancer die within six months, according to new figures.

    Recent statistics from the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry show survival rates are generally improving here but cancers detected late, still kill around one in five patients within six months of diagnosis.

    The numbers show one-year net survival rates after diagnosis was 71%, while five-year net survival was 56%, both over half.

    22% however died within six months of diagnosis.

    Dr Lesley Anderson is acting Deputy Director of the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry:

    "There's been an improvement in the survival rates for patients with cancer in Northern Ireland.

    "However, we're still seeing that around one in five patients that are diagnosed with cancer die within six months.

    "It's obviously a big concern for the public top hear that."

    Figures also showed cancer incidence was 10% higher in deprived areas in Northern Ireland.

    Between 2013 and 2017 rates were 8% higher among patients in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust compared to the Northern Ireland average.

    That compares with lower than average rates in patients in the Northern and South Eastern Trusts.

    Types of cancers common in deprived areas are lung, bowel, stomach and cervical, among others.

    Dr Lesley told Downtown Cool FM it could be down to the choices people make:

    "The reason for that is likely due to lifestyle factors.

    "Perhaps smoking levels are higher, alcohol consumption levels are higher, changes in the demographics.

    "We see that this differs in the type of cancers that people have."

    Worryingly, despite health warnings relating to smoking, lung cancer among women here rose by almost a third.

    Between 2013 and 2017 33% more women here were diagnosed with lung cancer,

    That may be down to how long symptoms can take to develop:

    "It takes about 20 years since commencing smoking for lung cancers to develop and what we're seeing is still this continued increase in women with lung cancer risk.

    "A lot of that is due to the differences in the uptake of smoking in women and how they've changed over recent decades."
    PersonsLesley Anderson