Cancer 'revolution' will improve survival rates

In collaboration with the Press Association

A revolution over the next 20 years will see cancer become a chronic disease, the Daily Express reports.

According to Karol Sikora, medical director of CancerPartnersUK, the next two decades will see a shift in attitudes towards cancer as more effective treatments for the disease are made available.

He believes a treatment "revolution" will result in cancer being viewed as a long-term chronic illness like asthma, heart disease and diabetes, rather than a terminal condition.

In an article for Scrip News, Professor Sikora said that over time we will "simply run out of things from which to die" thanks to improved cancer care borne out of technological advancements and increased public pressure to find a cure.

"Within 20 years cancer will be a chronic disease, joining conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and asthma," he said.

What's more, he envisages progress being made across the board rather in specific cancer areas.

"The model of prostate cancer, where many men die with it rather than from it, will be common for most cancers," he commented.

Professor Sikora's view is backed up by Hazel Nunn, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, who said she expects the rate of advancement to continue at a similar level to that currently seen.

"In recent decades cancer survival has been improving dramatically - and we're entering an exciting new age of cancer research that will ensure these trends are set to continue," Ms Nunn confirmed.

"Advances made in recent years mean we know more than ever about cancer and its causes, leading to better prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

"Research has been crucial to increasing cancer survival and it's vital that we keep the momentum going to help even more people beat the disease in future."