Cancer survival in UK is improving but could be better

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 23 August 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:363
  1. Adrian O'Dowd
  1. Margate

    Survival of UK patients after cancer is improving but still lags behind the European average, despite the United Kingdom spending more than other countries on cancer, different sources of data published this week show.

    Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that between 1999 and 2004 survival rates for most cancers in England improved.

    However, two studies published in Lancet Oncology (doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(07)70245-0 and doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(07)70246-2) say that numbers of UK patients surviving at five years after diagnosis, though improving, are still below the European average and roughly the same as in countries that spend less than a third of the UK's per capita healthcare budget.

    The government and experts on cancer have defended the UK's performance, saying …

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