Describing the Three Cancer Groups


Session type:

Rachel White1,Jane Maher1
1Macmillan Cancer Support



Previous work has proposed a model to cluster the majority of cancers into Three Cancer Groups based on an analysis of survival rates refined by clinical insight. By applying the numerical framework to the latest cancer statistics we enhance the analysis.


New survival, incidence, prevalence and mortality data are collated from statistical publications and analysed through the Three Cancer Groups framework.


In 2015 in the UK, an estimated 142,000 people were diagnosed with a Group 1 cancer type (longer-term survival), 72,000 were diagnosed with a Group 2 cancer type (intermediate survival) and 97,000 were diagnosed with a Group 3 cancer type (shorter-term survival). Also in 2015, an estimated 34,000 people died from a Group 1 cancer type, 29,000 people died from a Group 2 cancer type and 73,000 died from a Group 3 cancer type.


We also present estimates of 21-year prevalence and an analysis of four-year prevalence in England.


Every person with cancer has unique needs shaped by a multitude of factors including co-morbidities and patient preferences. However, there needs to be a high-level view of potential care requirements to support service planning. Each of the Three Cancer Groups affects large numbers of people so service planners must ensure that the needs of each of the groups are effectively met.


This analysis further highlights people living two to four years after a Group 2 or 3 cancer diagnoses. These people will have had a year of diagnosis, treatment and/or consequences of cancer. At the end of this year, they may be adjusting to living with a cancer that treatment is partly able to control but not eradicate and contending with the realisation that despite living a year since diagnosis ultimately a cancer death is a strong possibility.  This population are likely to need specialist support.