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A recent study, commissioned by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), reports that British cancer patients have the worst survival rates in Europe for nine out of ten major cancers. The study found the UK had ‘below average rates of five-year survival in diseases such as bowel, lung, breast, ovarian, prostate and kidney cancer, only beating the average in melanoma’.
The research, lead by the Swedish Institute for Health Economics, expands on previous work which looked at a number of studies to assess the state of cancer care across Europe between 1995 and 2014.
The analysis shows that if the UK achieved the cancer survival rates of Germany, just over 35,000 more people would be alive five years after diagnosis. If the UK had the cancer death rates of France, more than 100,000 women’s deaths could be prevented over the next decade.
“This should be a wake-up call for the UK to refocus the way we tackle cancer across the board” said Dr Richard Torbett, executive director at the ABPI. “It is quite clear that outcomes in the vast majority of cancers are not where they need to be in the UK”.