Friday, July 19, 2024

UK cancer care lagging 20 years behind Europe

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Gemma Peters, Macmillan Cancer Support’s chief executive officer, said: “Behind today’s shocking data are thousands of real people whose entire worlds have been turned upside down by cancer.

“The fact that some cancer survival rates are stuck in the noughties and are only just reaching levels that other European countries achieved in the early 2000s really hits home how far behind the UK is when it comes to cancer care.

She urged the next UK government to prioritise a long-term strategy for cancer, adding: “It’s clear that cancer care is at breaking point but this is a political choice.”

The analysis found bowel cancer survival in England for women was 20 years behind Sweden, where those diagnosed between 1997 and 2001 experienced better five-year survival rates than those in England who were diagnosed two decades later.

The survival data further shows 57.6 per cent of women diagnosed with bowel cancer in England live for at least five years, but this figure is much higher elsewhere at 72.7 per cent in Denmark, 71.7 per cent in Norway and 70.6 per cent in Sweden.

Similarly, survival data from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland shows these countries are lagging 10 to 15 years behind Sweden and Norway.

Survival rates lower

When it comes to men, bowel cancer survival in England lags 15 years behind Sweden, while prostate cancer survival is a decade behind.

England is currently achieving 57.6 per cent five-year bowel cancer survival rates, lower than the 73.2 per cent in Denmark, 70 per cent in Norway and 69.4 per cent in Sweden.

Prostate cancer five-year survival in England currently stands at 88.5 per cent, but is much higher in Sweden at 95 per cent, 94.8 per cent in Norway and 90.2 per cent in Denmark.

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