The British Liver Trust has launched a new support and information service for people affected by liver cancer, in response to rapidly rising cases of the disease. Liver cancer incidence rates have increased by 45 per cent in the last decade, while the death rate has increased by 40 per cent, making it the fasting rising cause of cancer death in the UK.
Liver Cancer UK will provide a ‘focus for action to address this devastating situation’, says the British Liver Trust, as well as aim to improve the lives and outcomes of those diagnosed and reduce the number of cases. More than 6,000 people are diagnosed with liver cancer in the UK each year, of which just 13 per cent survive for five years or more, with survival rates depending on the stage of the disease at diagnosis. Almost half of cases, however, are diagnosed in an emergency setting, such as A&E. The disease is most common in people who already have liver disease, especially cirrhosis, which is most often caused by alcohol, hepatitis or obesity. The service has been launched ‘so that everyone living with liver cancer has better access to high-quality information and we can better advocate on their behalf’ the trust states.
‘We’ve created new resources and a website with targeted information to make it easier for people to get the help they need,’ said the trust’s chief executive Pamela Healy OBE. ‘The new programme of activity is in response to the very worrying increase in cases across the UK. We’re also deeply concerned that survival rates for liver cancer remain so low. It’s a situation which needs to urgently change. Liver Cancer UK, as part of the British Liver Trust, will be dedicated to saving and improving the lives of people affected by liver cancer by raising awareness, providing support and campaigning for faster diagnosis and more research into treatments and cures.’