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The cancer survival rate in the UK is rising, but it is still lagging behind other high-income countries, according to the analysis.

The five-year survival rates of rectal and colonic cancers have improved the most since 1995 and at least pancreatic cancer.

Advances in treatment and surgery are behind the progress of the United Kingdom.

But the UK still shows lower results than those of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand and Norway, according to Lancet's study. Oncology.

Cancer Research UK said that the UK could do better and called for more "investments in the NHS and the systems and innovations that support it".

The research examined data from nearly four million patients with seven types of cancer – esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, pancreas, lung and ovary – from seven high-income countries.

Cancer patients were all diagnosed between 1995 and 2014.

That found the study?

The estimated survival rates of those diagnosed with cancer increased in the seven countries during the study period from 1995 to 2014.

But some countries have done better than others.

Australia had higher survival rates than other countries, while the UK overall had lower survival rates.

In fact, despite improvements, the United Kingdom is the country most affected by some cancers, including cancers of the lung, colon, rectum, stomach and pancreas.


Survival rate for stomach cancer

Where have we progressed?

In the UK, rectal cancer survival has increased from 48% to 62% in 20 years.

In the case of colon cancer, progress has also been satisfactory: from 47% of survivors survived for five years in 1995-1999 to 59% in 2010-2014.

In comparison, Ireland has made similar improvements and Denmark even more.

Australia's survival has increased to 71% for rectal and colon cancers.

Pancreatic cancer had the lowest survival in five years – ranging from 7.9% in the UK (the lowest) to 14.6% in Australia (the highest).


Cancer survival rate in the UK compared to other countries

For lung cancer, Canada had the highest survival at five years (21.7%) and the United Kingdom the lowest (14.7%).

All countries experienced a similar improvement in survival after stomach cancer, while Norway had the highest survival rate after five years for ovarian cancer (46%).

The improvements were better for the under 75s than for the over 75s.

What are the reasons?

The researchers indicated that the steady improvements in all countries participating in the study are likely due to major health reforms and technological advances, which led to earlier diagnosis, more effective treatments, and improved health. better patient management.

The intestine (rectal and colon) experienced one of the largest increases in five-year survival.

John Butler, consulting surgeon at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London and clinical advisor for Cancer Research UK, said it was due to better surgical techniques, greater use of radiation therapy, and more older patients treated .

He added that the improvements in the UK resulted from a combination of many different factors.

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Cancer treatments improve in high-income countries, according to the study

"Over the past 20 years, we have seen improvements in cancer planning, the development of national cancer control strategies and the establishment of new diagnostic and treatment services.

"For lung, ovarian and esophageal cancers in particular, survival has increased largely because the quality of the surgery has drastically improved and more surgeries have been done. place that before.

"More and more people are being supported by teams of specialists rather than by surgeons who are not experts in this field."

Mr Butler said that investing in early diagnosis and cancer care would play an important role in reducing the survival gap in other countries.

What was the answer?

The UK government said there were other data showing that one-year survival rates for all types of cancer in England were at record levels.

One-year survival increased from 62% in 2001 to 72.8% in 2016.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs said: "The cancer survival rate has reached a record level, but we are determined to go further and save even more lives.

"Thanks to our long-term NHS plan, we will detect more cancers at an early stage, saving about 55,000 lives a year.

"At the same time, the record amount of £ 33.9 billion a year we invest in our NHS will help the health service to recruit the staff it needs for the future."

An NHS spokeswoman in England said the report was outdated and showed improved survival rates.

She said it was "thanks to improvements made to the NHS's cancer services, including the introduction of breakthrough therapies such as proton beam therapy and immunotherapy".