Intended for healthcare professionals


Cancer survival improves in UK but still lags behind other high income countries

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 11 September 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5508
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

More people are surviving cancer for longer, but the UK has made slower progress than other high income countries, a large international study has found.

The International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership analysed data on 3.9 million people with cancer from 1995 to 2014 in seven countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, and the UK. The study, published in Lancet Oncology,1 looked at changes in survival, alongside incidence and mortality, in people with cancers of the oesophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, pancreas, lung, and ovary.

In the UK, one and five year survival improved in all seven cancers analysed over the 20 year period:

  • Rectal cancer: five year survival rose by 14 percentage points since 1995, from 48% …

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