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A new global study involving 37 million cancer patients in 71 countries reports that, despite improvements in survival rates over the past 15 years, Britain has failed to narrow the cancer survival gap behind the best countries in the world. The study suggests that thousands of lives are being lost to mediocre care in the NHS, and British patients still die of cancer earlier than patients in other rich countries, where survival rates are improving just as fast.
Britain trails behind the world leaders in Scandinavia, the US, Canada and Australia, and for some cancers survival rates in Britain are worse than in Latin American countries such as Brazil and Costa Rica.
The experts blame a shortage of doctors, technology and money in the NHS, along with repeated NHS reorganisations, which result in a lack of focus on sustained improvement.