Thursday 17th January 2019

UK

We've published a new report - 13-24 year olds with cancer in England: Incidence, mortality and survival  - examining the latest trends in the incidence, mortality and five-year survival rates for cancer amongst young people. This is the first time a detailed analysis has been conducted of cancer rates of the 13 to 24-year age group and shows an encouraging increase in survival rates.
 
The figures, based on an analysis of young people diagnosed in England between 2001 and 2015, were extracted from Public Health England’s National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS). Key findings include: 
 
  • Mortality rates of all cancers combined in 13 to 24 year olds have decreased from 42.9 per million in 2001 to 32.3 per million in 2015. 
  • The largest reduction in mortality by diagnostic group in England between 2001 and 2015 has been in Leukaemias. There were also reductions seen in mortality from Central Nervous System tumours, bone cancer and in lymphoma.
  • Five-year survival rates for cancer in 13 to 24 year olds have risen from 83% females / 80% males in (2001-05) to 87% in females / 84 % males (2007-11). 
  • There are statistically significant variations in incidence and survival rates of cancer in 13 to 24 year olds based on geography and deprivation.  
  • The incidence of cancer in 13 to 24 years olds in England has increased from a crude rate of 233.1 per million in 2001, to 299.7 per million in 2015.   
 

Read a summary of the full report. 

 
It’s important to note that cancer amongst young people remains incredibly rare, affecting on average 2,397 young people in England between 2013 to 2015. As a proportion of overall cancer incidence in all ages, cancer in young people is less than 1 per cent

Kate Collins, Chief Executive of Teenage Cancer Trust said:
It's fantastic that this new report shows for the first time that cancer survival rates are improving in young people. This hugely positive shift has occurred since the decision by NICE in 2005 to recognise and treat teenagers and young adults as a unique patient group and embedded within the NHS the model of care pioneered and invested in by Teenage Cancer Trust.
"Over time, our partnership with the NHS has gone from strength to strength and it’s this infrastructure and specialist workforce that supports key developments that may have contributed to some of the improvements in survival we can evidence today, including through growing access to some clinical trials, supporting advances in treatments and improving patient experience. This report makes a strong case for the importance of such services and for sustained funding of teenage and young adult specialist care into the future. I want to thank every supporter of Teenage Cancer Trust who through their belief and contribution to our work means we’re transforming the lives of young people with cancer every day."
 

"As more young people are diagnosed with cancer, more face an uncertain future where their life is put on hold at a time when it should just be getting started. We know that there are now more young people than ever before who need our specialist care and support. Teenage Cancer Trust is the only cancer charity dedicated to the needs of this age group." 

"Despite the encouraging progress being made on survival rates, now is not a time for complacency but even more action. Last week, NHS England in their long-term plan explicitly recognised the need to prioritise young people with cancer including a move to record the DNA of every child with cancer to develop personalised treatment and an aim of 50 per cent of young people with cancer accessing clinical trials by 2025. Their implementation plan will be key in meeting these targets, especially further investing in an expert workforce and creating effective and integrated staff networks."

Aggie

Aggie Kasicka was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma when she was 20 and was treated at the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at Nottingham City Hospital. Aggie, 25, who now works as a Management Consultant, said:

Cancer is an awful experience at any age, but for those aged between 13 and 24 it is particularly terrifying as it’s the time in your life where key decisions are made, and critical events happen that impact your future. The support I received from Teenage Cancer Trust nurses and support staff was exceptional, and I couldn’t have got through my treatment as well as I did without them.

Read and download the full report below.