Table of contents


Adults :: Cancer :: Summary

Cancer is the second leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Medway. Each year approximately 1,300 people are diagnosed with cancer [1] and around 650 people die from cancer in Medway, accounting for about 31% (nearly 1 in 3) of all deaths in Medway. Lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity, poor diet and alcohol play an important role in determining an individual's risk of developing cancer. Although there are over 200 types of cancer in the UK, over half of cancer deaths are due to the top four most common cancers: lung, bowel, breast and prostate[1]. Cancer is one of the largest contributors to excess mortality in Medway.

The incidence of cancer is rising and is expected to increase from nearly 300,000 cases in the UK in 2007 to over 430,000 by 2030[2]. This increase will have a significant additional demand on health and social care services. The one year survival rate from all cancers combined has risen gradually over time. This trend is due to a number of factors, notably earlier detection of cancer and continued improvements in treatment and is expected to continue over the coming years. However, cancer mortality in Medway has remained consistently higher than the England average.

Key issues and gaps

The NHS Outcome Framework 2015/16 sets out improvement areas for reducing premature mortality from cancer.
• One and five-year survival rate from all cancers
• One and Five year survival from breast, lung and colorectal cancers combined
• Proportion of cancers diagnosed early at stages one and two.

The risk of not delivering in other areas, such as smoking, physical activity, diet and obesity will have impact on cancer outcomes.
• Smoking prevalence in Medway remains higher than the national average, especially in pregnant women and young people
• Attitudes and beliefs about cancer impact on late presentation; cancer signs and symptoms awareness campaigns need to continue and be sustained
• Variation in cancer screening coverage and uptake between GP practices
• Variation in access to cancer services - cancer waiting time standards not met.


[1]   National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service. Cancer Stats
[2]   Mistry M, Parkin DM, Ahmad AS, et al. Cancer incidence in the United Kingdom: projections to the year 2030 British Journal of Cancer 2011; 105: 1795-1803.