Hundreds more people surviving cancer, heart attacks and strokes

Almost 300 lives a year have been saved in Sheffield thanks to campaigns and treatment on heart disease and cancer.

Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 11:52 am
Updated Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 14:16 pm
Cllr George Lindars-Hammond

Around 200 lives a year have been saved through work on heart attacks and strokes while another 70 have been saved from cancer.

Coun George Lindars-Hammond, cabinet member for health and social care, revealed the good news after Liberal Democrat councillor Roger Davision asked what action had been taken to improve death rates in deprived areas.

Coun Lindars-Hammond said: “There have been significant reductions in premature deaths from cancer and cardiovascular disease in Sheffield over the last 10 to 20 years.

“Premature deaths from cardiovascular disease reduced by around 40 per cent over the period 2001 to 2017. That’s equivalent to around 200 lives a year saved.

“Premature deaths from cancer also reduced over the same period but by a smaller amount. The number of cancer deaths reduced by just over 10 per cent – equivalent to 70 lives saved per year.”

He said it was down to public health campaigns, screening programmes and specialist treatment.

“We have achieved a positive trend in cardiovascular disease through a combination of reduction in smoking, less salt, fat and sugar in diets, greater levels of physical activity, earlier identification and treatment of signs and symptoms of heart disease and improved rehabilitation and recovery.

“A positive trend in cancer deaths is linked to uptake of the three national cancer screening programmes – bowel, breast and cervical – as well as reduction in smoking, improved diet and reduced alcohol consumption.

“There is also early identification and treatment of the signs and symptoms of cancer and improved survival rates from specialist cancer treatment.

“These trends can be directly linked to the conscious actions of the council in partnership with national partners over many years alongside improved treatment within the NHS.

“With regard to the NHS, the evidence clearly points to the fact that it is the system and organisation of services that has made the biggest difference rather than any single treatment or intervention. This is true for both cancer and cardiovascular disease.”

Cancer, heart attacks and strokes remain the biggest killers in Sheffield as well as nationally. The other main causes of death are respiratory conditions, mainly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia, and dementia.