Belfast Telegraph

Cancer numbers 'to double by 2030'

The number of patients with cancer in Northern Ireland is expected to double by 2030, a charity has said.

Currently 55,000 people live with the grim disease and that tally is likely to grow amid predictions of an increasingly elderly population linked to greater longevity.

Macmillan Cancer Support said health and social care services were already under pressure.

Heather Monteverde, general manager, said: "But the fact is that more and more of us are being diagnosed with cancer and more and more of us are surviving for longer and living with the long-term consequences of treatment.

"It's vitally important we transform the way we deliver cancer care to make sure our system can meet the needs of the huge numbers of people who will be diagnosed in the future.

"This means providing the best possible medical treatment and addressing the emotional, practical and financial needs of people affected by cancer."

By the end of 2016 30 people a day could be diagnosed, according to the charity.

The organisation has compared incidence rates with the projected increase in the elderly population because of greater longevity as well as better treatment.

Around two in three cancers are detected in people aged 65 or over.

Macmillan has invested more than £1 million in a health service programme involving follow-up and aftercare.

The leading cancer charity believes that, if cancer patients' needs are properly and individually assessed, they can be given all the support they need, from learning how to cope with the side-effects of treatment to getting benefits advice, financial guidance and counselling.

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