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Treating colorectal cancer: chances in front of goal

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7239.949 (Published 01 April 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:949
  1. Nigel A Scott, consultant colorectal surgeon
  1. Salford

    The provision and more importantly the politics of colorectal cancer treatment often feature in the press. The UK prime minister's cancer summit to cut cancer deaths by one fifth over the next decade concluded that the 150 specialist oncologists in Britain should be doubled. A spokesman for a cancer charity said, “we could switch spending on acne and constipation to fighting cancer.” We can't get into the cancer premier league without more money, more investment—the chant from the terraces—let's buy a new striker, let's buy 150 specialist oncologists.

    Before buying or selecting a new striker, a football manager needs a measure of effectiveness. How often is a chance in front of goal converted into a score by the proposed signing? A striker that puts away one chance in three is worthy of investment. If he needs 20 chances in front of goal to score then I think …

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