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Cancer care in England lags behind other countries, confirms review

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 09 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3571
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

Late diagnosis, delayed and poor access to surgery and radiotherapy, and age bias are the main reasons why cancer survival rates are worse in England than in other countries, says a report from the health policy think tank the King’s Fund. However, access to drugs is not a major factor in England’s poor performance.

The report, which reviewed international evidence, acknowledges that overall cancer survival rates in England are improving and that these speeded up slightly between 2004 and 2007, probably as a result of the publication of the NHS Cancer Plan in 2000. Survival rates of breast cancer, for example, are catching up with other higher performing countries with 83% of women diagnosed in England surviving for at least five …

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