100,000 people living with cancer

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Over 2.6 million people are registered with GP practices in the Cheshire and Merseyside area. In 2018, almost 100,000 of those people were living with a diagnosis of cancer.1

7,000 deaths due to cancer a year

Around 7,000 people die each year in Cheshire and Merseyside due to cancer, around 290 per 100,000 population, which is higher than the England average.2

The risk of cancer increases with age, with over 65s being particularly at risk. In Cheshire and Merseyside this is over half a million people, around a fifth of the total population (19%).3

Over 64,000 of the 100,000 people living with cancer in 2018 were aged 65 or over (64%).

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Each year, around 16,0004 people in Cheshire and Merseyside are diagnosed with a new cancer. This means that for every 100,000 people living in Cheshire and Merseyside, around 600 are diagnosed every year; higher than the England average.

Percentage of new cancer diagnoses by type (2018) 12% Colorectal / 13% Prostate / 15% Lung / 15% Breast / 46% Other excluding non melanoma skin cancer12% Colorectal / 13% Prostate / 15% Lung / 15% Breast / 46% Other excluding non melanoma skin cancer

The four most common cancers are breast, colorectal, lung and prostate. These make up over half of all new diagnoses each year, with around 2,000 diagnoses each in Cheshire and Merseyside.

For the four most common cancers, survival rates following a diagnosis of cancer in Cheshire and Merseyside are similar to the England average.5

Survival rates.png

Three in four people diagnosed with breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancer survive for one year or more in Cheshire and Merseyside (2018).

Over half of people diagnosed with breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancer survive for five years or more in Cheshire and Merseyside (2014-2018). 

Just under half of people diagnosed with breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancer survive for ten years or more in Cheshire and Merseyside (2009-2018).

In 2019/20 over 116,000 people in Cheshire and Merseyside were referred urgently by their GP for suspected cancer.

  • Roughly half of all cancer diagnoses are the result of a GP referrals.
  • Around 7% of GP urgent referrals lead to a cancer diagnosis, although this proportion will vary by tumour group.

Percentage of eligible population screened 62% - Bowel Screens: 60-74 year olds / 70% Breast Screens: 50-70 year olds / 73% Cervical Screens: 25-49 year olds / 75% Cervical Screens: 50-64 year olds

Screening programmes help identify cancers as early as possible.

Cervical screening is offered to women aged 25 to 64 to check the health of cells in the cervix. It is offered every three years for those aged 25 to 49 and every five years from the ages of 50 to 64. As of 2019/20 in Cheshire and Merseyside, over 308,000 women aged 25 to 49 had been screened in the past three and a half years, 73% of the eligible population. In addition, over 180,000 women aged 50 to 64 had been screened in the past five and a half years; 75% of the eligible population.6

Breast screening is offered to women aged 50 to 70 to detect early signs of breast cancer. Women over 70 can self-refer. As of 2019/20 in Cheshire and Merseyside, over 250,000 women aged 50 to 70 had been screened in the past three years, 70% of the population.5

Everyone aged 60 to 74 is offered a bowel cancer screening home test kit every two years. As of 2019/20 in Cheshire and Merseyside, over 270,000 people in Cheshire and Merseyside had been screened in the past 30 months, 62% of the eligible population. Over 75s can ask for a kit every two years.5

 

Inequalities: Deprivation

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The Indices of Multiple Deprivation 2019 rank neighbourhoods in England in terms of their levels of deprivation. In Cheshire and Merseyside 23.4% neighbourhoods are identified as being in the 10% most deprived neighbourhoods in England (Decile 1).

People who live in deprived areas are more likely to experience health inequalities. In Cheshire and Merseyside, nearly 300,000 people live in areas ranked in Decile 1 nationally.

Residents in Cheshire and Merseyside are more affected by health deprivation and disability than any other type of deprivation. 33% of neighbourhoods in Cheshire and Merseyside are identified as being in the 10% most deprived neighbourhoods in England (Decile 1).

IMD comparison chart

There are nine Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the Cheshire and Merseyside footprint. In terms of deprivation there is wide variation between the CCGs, with the proportion of neighbourhoods in Decile one of IMD 2019 ranging from 4.5% in Cheshire CCG to 48.7% in Liverpool CCG.

Percentage of neighbourhoods in Decile 1 of the 2019 4.5% Cheshire / 31.6% Halton / 46.9% Knowsley / 48.7% Liverpool / 29.7% South Sefton / 6.4% Southport / 24.4% St Helens / 7.9% Warrington / 25.2% Wirral

Inequalities: Ethnicity

The 2020 Annual Population Survey identifies that 4.4% of people aged 16-64 living in Cheshire and Merseyside are from Black, Asian and Diverse Ethnic backgrounds. This is around 100,000 people. There are nine Local Authorities in the Cheshire and Merseyside footprint, with varying proportions of residents from Black, Asian and Diverse Ethnic backgrounds.

Percentage of Local Authority populations who are from Black, Asian and Diverse Ethnic backgrounds (APS 2020) 1.6% Cheshire East / 2.4% Cheshire West and Chester / 1.8% Halton / 4.0% Knowsley / 10.7% Liverpool / 2.1% Sefton / 2.1% St Helens / 5.7% Warrington / 3.6% Wirral

The annual National Cancer Patient Experience Survey has shown that there is a pattern of poorer experience being reported by people who describe themselves as Asian, Black, Mixed, Other White and Other.7

It is recognised that people from Black, Asian and Diverse Ethnic backgrounds may encounter additional barriers in accessing cancer services.

Cheshire & Merseyside Cancer Alliance is working to reduce these inequalities of experience and access. 

Data availability note: Cancer data is collated nationally and undergoes rigorous quality checks. As a result, data takes 18 months to be available for publication.


  1. PHE Cancerstats: Prevalence
  2. PHE Cancerstats: Mortality
  3. GP Practice registered populations December 2020
  4. PHE Cancerstats: Incidence
  5. PHE Cancerstats: Index of survival
  6. PHE Fingertips Cancer Services
  7. NHS England: Reducing inequalities in BME patient experience of cancer care