Medical advances mean thousands of patients are surviving for at least two years with the most advanced cancer, a study reveals.
More than 17,000 people were alive in 2015 having been diagnosed with stage four cancer two years previously, according to Macmillan Cancer Support.
Stage four cancer – also called ‘secondary’, ‘advanced’ or ‘metastatic’ cancer – means the disease has spread from the original tumour into other parts of the body.
It is usually incurable, and in the past a diagnosis was considered to be a death sentence.
But new and improved treatment and care means patients are now able to live for several years.