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New figures show improvement in brain tumour survival

Survival after a high-grade brain tumour diagnosis is slowly improving according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The number of people who live for at least a year after being diagnosed with a high-grade brain tumour is continuing to rise slowly, new figures show – but overall survival remains poor compared with most other cancers.

According to the latest report from the Office for National Statistics, almost four out of ten (39.9%) patients in England who were diagnosed with a high-grade brain tumour between 2013 and 2017 lived for at least 12 months.

This compares with 38.7% of those diagnosed between 2012 and 2016.

The figure has gone up significantly since the period from 2001 to 2005, when it stood at 26.2%.

The ONS also says the number of people diagnosed with a high-grade brain tumour who survive for at least five years went up to 12.2% between 2013 and 2017.

This compares with 11.3% in the previous period (2012-2016) and 7.9% in 2001-2005.

We welcome these improvements but we know there is still a mountain to climb to bring brain tumour survival in line with rates for many other cancers.

According to the ONS, one-year breast cancer survival now stands at 95.8% and five-year survival at 85%, while the figures for prostate cancer are 96.6% for one-year survival and 86.6% for five-year survival.

Similarly, the proportion of children surviving some types of high-grade brain tumour continues to lag behind that for other paediatric cancers. Brain tumours remain the biggest cancer killer of children and young adults in the UK.

We are determined to improve survival for brain tumour patients of all ages by investing globally in research to identify more effective, less harmful treatments.

We’ll also continue our drive to ensure everyone diagnosed with a brain tumour has access to the best possible treatment and care.