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New study reveals more people surviving leukaemia and pancreatic cancer in Northern Ireland
Date:3/1/2012

The first audit of leukaemia treatment and survival in Northern Ireland by the Cancer Registry (NICR) at Queen's University Belfast has shown that survival rates for the disease here are at the highest levels since data collection began in 1993.

For children with the disease, survival has improved dramatically from under 10 per cent in the 1960 to1970s, to the current level of over 80 per cent for five year survival.

The NICR researchers also examined the changes in service and outcome for patients with pancreatic cancer.

While pancreatic cancer has very poor survival, the Registry has documented a doubling in survival for patients diagnosed in 2010 compared with 2008 (18 per cent from 9 per cent), which the researchers say could be due to the changes in service provision including centralising the service to one site, the Mater hospital in Belfast.

The leukaemia audit further revealed that while each year approximately twelve children under the age of 14 are diagnosed with acute leukaemia, there are at least 200 people alive in Northern Ireland who were diagnosed as a child, reflecting the improved survival prospects. People diagnosed as children make up 20 per cent of the over 900 people alive here, who at some stage in the past 18 years, have been diagnosed with leukaemia.

Survival for non Hodgkin lymphoma has also improved dramatically since the introduction of new drug therapies - from 64 per cent for one year and 45 per cent for five year survival in 1993, to 77 per cent for one year and 58 per cent five year survival in 2008. Hodgkin lymphoma has a higher survival than non Hodgkin and has remained steady since the 1990s at 89 per cent for one year and 79 per cent for five year survival.

The figures have been revealed as part of the Cancer Care in Northern Ireland: A decade of change event at Queen's University Belfast organised by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry and attended by Edwin Poots
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Contact: Lisa McElroy
lisa.mcelroy@qub.ac.uk
44-289-097-5384
Queen's University Belfast
Source:Eurekalert

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