Friday, 9 March 2012

Can the UK narrow the gap with Europe on cancer survival?

Studies have shown an improvement in 5 year survival for colorectal and breast cancer but despite this the gap between England and most of the rest of Europe remains.

If the UK were to match the best in Europe for cancer survival then 10,000 lives a year might be saved including 1700 with colorectal cancer.

Why do such large differences exist?

Late presentation inevitably results in poorer outcomes. Emergency presentation leads to a particularly poor survival. 27% of patients with colorectal cancer currently present as emergencies. Emergency patients have a 1year survival of only 50% compared with nearly 75% of all patients with colorectal cancer.

How can survival rates be improved?

At a recent National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) meeting, Sir Mike Richards, England's clinical director for cancer outlined a campaign addressing a number of key areas:
•Extending screening programs
•Raising public awareness
•Supporting GP's
•Improving access to diagnostics
•Improving treatment

The governments 'Be Clear on Cancer' campaign begins at the end of January and pilot studies indicate significantly increased numbers of patients seeking advice from their GP's and numbers of patients being referred for investigation.

Simon Radley Dec 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.