More than 170,000 people in the UK who were diagnosed with cancer up to 40 years ago are still alive, a report by Macmillan Cancer Support has suggested.
People are twice as likely to survive for at least a decade after being diagnosed than they were at the start of the 1970s, the charity said.
It said better treatments and speedier diagnoses are among the reasons.
But cancer can leave a legacy of side effects such as depression and financial difficulties, it also warned.
The report, called Cancer Then and Now, estimates around a quarter of survivors will have long-term issues that need support.Helen Taskiran told BBC News she suffered from depression as a result of surviving cancer, and has even missed out on job opportunities because of it.
She was first diagnosed in 1991 with bowel cancer, which she survived, but since then has been diagnosed with four other cancers, including breast, skin and womb.
“They’ve left me with swollen arms and legs, tiredness, sometimes depression, [making me] dubious about going for other jobs,” said Helen, whose son was just three years old when she was first diagnosed.
“Your self-esteem goes down, you’re wondering whether people will judge you.
“I’ve had job interviews where people have turned me down because I’ve had cancer – so that all adds to the depression. I’ve been offered jobs and then when I’ve filled in medical forms all of a sudden the job has disappeared before it’s even started,” she added.
A total of 625,000 people in the UK are currently suffering with depression after cancer treatment, Macmillan Cancer Support said.Greig Trout survived cancer at the age of seven, and again at 30, but he says the worst part of his battle was after his second all-clear.
He says he became “gripped by anxiety, and the fear of cancer coming back, or the fear that maybe it hadn’t gone”.
“I felt guilty, angry at myself,” says Mr Trout, now 37 and from Thames Ditton in south-west