Healthcare: On the Agenda - Cancer in over-65s to treble by 2040

In a nutshell

The number of over-65s living with cancer is set to treble by 2040, according to research by King's College London.

Key findings

Lung cancer in women will see the largest increase, from 319 to 831 per 100,000 of population. However, lung cancer in older men is expected to decrease, due to a major decline in smoking among men in England since the 1970s.

About the study

The study is the first long-term projection about the number of people living with a cancer diagnosis in the UK. Researchers, from Thames Cancer Registry in King's College London and University College London, used cancer registry data to estimate cancer prevalence in 2009 and developed a model to predict prevalence based on projected cancer incidence, survival and population demographics. The study is funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and published in the British Journal of Cancer.

PR strategy

Macmillan produced a summary of the research with infographics and sold in the story to all national media outlets, newswires and trade media. Case studies were provided and Mike Hobday, director of policy and research, was offered as a spokesman.

Media coverage

The Guardian, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, Metro and i all ran the story, while online it was covered by the BBC and London Evening Standard, among others. Sky News ran a package featuring Hobday, while the trade press also picked up the story.

1.3m - Number of over-65s who were living with a cancer diagnosis in 2010*

4.1m - Number of people predicted to receive a cancer diagnosis by 2040*

*Source: Macmillan Cancer Support.

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