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UK Cancer Survival Rates Amongst Worst in Western Society

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 A damning report by the King’s Fund has revealed that the UK’s cancer survival rate is amongst the lowest in the Western world.

The UK has the lowest survival rates for bowel, breast and lung cancer out of six countries including Sweden, Canada and Australia.

The figures show that 53.6% of bowel cancer patients survived for at least five years after diagnosis, compared to 65.9% in Australia.

Furthermore, 88.5% of women in Sweden survived for at least five years after being diagnosed with breast cancer, whereas in the UK only 81.6% survived for the same period.

Much lower rates of people survived for more than five years after being diagnosed with lung cancer; only 8.8% in the UK compared to 18.4% in Canada.

It is thought that late diagnosis and lack of life saving treatments are to blame.

More worryingly, the the report also warned that the elderly were being denied the same level of care as their younger counterparts. The elderly are more likely to have to wait for referrals meaning that a diagnosis is often made when the cancer has become untreatable. They are also denied the same surgery and treatments as younger patients in some cases.

Catherine Foot, Senior Fellow of the King’s fund and member of the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership stated, “England still has a way to go to reach cancer survival rates that are ranked with the best international performers. The evidence points to early diagnosis as being key to improving outcomes. We hope urgent priority is given to closing the gap in survival rates between different groups in society.

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