Greig Trout, 37, from Thames Ditton, south-west London, who suffered cancer as a child: ‘I’m just trying to enjoy every day as it comes and just grateful to be here.’ Photograph: Karen Druy/PA
People are twice as likely to live at least 10 years after being diagnosed with cancer than they were at the start of the 1970s, new research shows.
More than 170,000 people in the UK who were diagnosed in the 1970s and 1980s are still alive – an “extraordinary” number, Macmillan Cancer Support said in its report Cancer: Then and Now.
The increase in long-term cancer survivors is due to more sophisticated treatment combined with an ageing population, the charity said, acknowledging that there was still a huge variation in survival rates according to cancer type.
The 37-year-old from Thames Ditton, south-west London, said: “The life-saving treatment I had as a child has come back to bite me in the future, but I’m still here.
“I think GPs … it would be good for them, especially now with people who are struggling with side effects of treatment back in the 1980s, just to know and be more aware of what those side effects are.
“Developments of cancer treatment are just getting better and better, so I hope that more people don’t have to go through what I’ve been through as a child. I’m just trying to enjoy every day as it comes and just grateful to be here.”