Black Country comes out in force to support World Cancer Day

Thanks to research more people are surviving cancer than ever – but there is still a great deal of work to be done

People across the region are being urged to show their support for World Cancer Day today as new figures reveal that death rates in the area have fallen by around 9 per cent over the last 10 years.

Cancer Research UK is joining with three other prominent charities, The Movember Foundation, Breast Cancer Care and Anthony Nolan, to encourage people to wear a Unity Band, or make a donation, to demonstrate their support for people affected by cancer. 

The Unity Band is made of two parts, knotted together, to represent strength in unity and are available in the colours of each cause involved in the collaboration for a suggested donation of £2.

Every year, over 30,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in the West Midlands. In 2003, 323 in every 100,000 people affected died from the disease, but thanks to research improving outcomes for patients, this fell overall by around 9 per cent to 294 people per 100,000 in 2013.

Research has proved to be the key factor in reducing the number of lives lost to cancer, with improved knowledge about preventing the disease, surgical techniques, precisely targeted radiotherapy and more effective drugs all boosting the outcome for patients.

Death rates show that the proportion of people in the UK who are dying of cancer has fallen dramatically even though more people are being diagnosed with the disease. The rising number of diagnoses is largely due to the UK’s ageing population and cancer being more common in older people.

Jane Redman, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Birmingham, said: “Today, on World Cancer Day, it’s important to remember that even though the death rates are falling, the overall number of people dying from cancer is expected to increase. Too many people are still being diagnosed with and dying from cancer, not just here in the West Midlands, but across the UK and around the globe.

“Thanks to research more people are surviving cancer than ever – but there is still a great deal of work to be done to ensure that more families can stay together for longer.

“Wearing a Unity Band is a simple way to show your support and be part of the generation that transforms the lives of the millions of people affected by cancer. Together we can all do something to reduce the impact of this devastating disease.”

Collectively the four charities support millions of people every year through their individual work in the prevention, detection, treatment and support of those affected by cancer.

From 10am, Black Country Radio will broadcast a special morning show, featuring songs chosen by listeners and the charities involved in World Cancer Day, alongside interviews with those who are working to fight the disease. For more information visit our World Cancer Day page.


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