The rate of survival for cancer patients in Surrey Heartlands one year on from their diagnosis is still rising, new figures show.

Cancer Research UK said national figures show improvements in cancer survival, yet also highlight disparity across England. The charity said chances of surviving cancer should not vary depending on where patients live.

NHS figures show 78.4% of people diagnosed with cancer in 2020 in the former NHS Surrey Heartlands CCG survived the first year. This is up from a survival rate of 77.7% in 2019 and an increase on 70.4% a decade prior.

Nationally, the one-year survival rate reached 74.6% in 2020 up from 74.1% the year before and 68.7% a decade prior.

Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK chief executive, said despite the data showing improvements in cancer survival in England, there is still "unacceptable" disparity across England.

She said: "Our chances of surviving cancer should not vary depending on where we live."

She added workforce shortages area a critical barrier in deliver timely diagnosis and treatment for cancer patients and called on the Government to publish a fully-costed workforce plan for England to improve staff recruitment and retainment.

The data also shows the one-year survival rate for women with breast cancer in Surrey Heartlands increased from 96.6% in 2010 to 98.2% in 2020.

The survival rate for colorectal cancer patients also rose from 80.5% in 2010 to 83.8% in 2020.

In addition, lung cancer patients survival rate was 52.2% in 2020 – an improvement from 39% a decade prior.

Health Minister Helen Whately said: "These figures are highly encouraging and support those released earlier this year which show improved survival rates across almost all types of cancer. They are evidence of the great strides being made by the NHS, scientists and our incredible cancer charities."

She added the Government is focused on fighting cancer through prevention, diagnosis, treatment, research and funding. She said over 94 ‘one stop shops’ have been opened so people can have quicker access to tests, scans and checks.

"We know there is more to do and early diagnosis is crucial to improving survival rates even further. Our ambition is to diagnose 75% of cancer at an early stage by 2028 which will help save tens of thousands of lives for longer," the minister added.

Dame Cally Palmer, NHS national cancer director, said it is "fantastic" that cancer survival rates have been rising steadily over the last decade.

"The NHS is pulling out all the stops so we can boost that even further," she added. “So, as ever people should come forward for checks if they have concerns – the NHS is here for you.”