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Report shows wide variation in cancer survival across England

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 02 December 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5207
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

    Survival rates for different cancers show stark variation depending on where patients live. The findings from a report on the latest cancer statistics show, for example, a threefold difference across England in the proportion of people with lung cancer living for at least a year.

    The second annual report on the Department of Health’s cancer reform strategy—the five year plan published in 2007 setting out how to implement improvements in cancer services—looked for the first time at local information on cancer services and outcomes.

    The findings show a continuing reduction in overall cancer mortality but major differences in survival rates for a range of cancers in different primary care trusts. The greatest variation was for lung cancer: the best survival rate at one year was 44% among patients in the Kensington and Chelsea primary care trust, the only trust to achieve the international “good practice” level of at least 37%; the lowest one year survival was 15% in Herefordshire.

    The report focused on one year survival data as a proxy for …

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