THOUSANDS of cancer sufferers in Hampshire are living at least ten years after diagnosis, according to new figures.

A Cancer Research UK study has revealed that 50 per cent of people diagnosed with cancer in the UK will survive for a decade.

It means that about 4,900 people in Hampshire are living longer and 21,000 in the wider south region.

In the early 1970s just a quarter of people diagnosed with cancer lived for another decade.

But determined to keep that number increasing, CRUK has launched an ambitious strategy to ensure that three-quarters of newly diagnosed patients live longer.

Helen Johnstone, from Cancer Research UK, said: “Each year more and more people are diagnosed with cancer. We believe no one should be diagnosed too late for their life to be saved and effective treatments should be available to every patient, no matter what type of cancer they have.

“Achieving our ambition to see three-quarters of all cancer patients surviving their disease in the next 20 years will be challenging.

“But with the continued commitment of our scientists, doctors and nurses and the generous support of the public, we hope to see our progress accelerate over the coming years to make this a reality.”

The charity requires funding to aid research and is appealing for women across Hampshire to sign up to Southampton’s Race for Life.

For more details call 0845 600 6050.