The hidden assassin: cancer in the UK: a guide for donors and grant-makers

Document type
McKenzie, Dinah; Alexander, Justin; Joy, Iona
New Philanthropy Capital
Date of publication
1 September 2004
Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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This document offers a guide for donors and grant-makers looking to contribute to charities and third sector organisation working in cancer services. One in three people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer in their life time. There are more than 270,000 new cases diagnosed annually in the UK, and over a million people living with cancer. Mortality rates are falling, however, by almost 12% during the last 25 years, a period that has seen incidence rise by nearly 24%. Increasing incidence is partly the result of an ageing population – cancer primarily a disease of old age. 65% of cancers are diagnosed in people over 65 years of age. Nonetheless, an increasing number of younger people are also getting cancer, and of those who die before retirement age, more than one in three will die of cancer. The loss of these people to their families will of course be huge; but there is a cost to the overall economy, too, from lost output, of around £600 million each year. In this report New Philanthropy Capital look at: treatment, mainly the preserve of the state, but with a growing number of charities supporting it, providing services from bone marrows to information help-lines; palliative care, where the state and voluntary sector work together to provide hospices and home care; and research, where a long established charitable sector is increasingly working with the state to improve cancer prevention, detection and, of course, treatment.