The UK has the lowest survival rates for five of the seven key cancers among the richest nations in the world.

Although survival rates have improved, the United Kingdom has ranked last among cancers of the intestine, lung, pancreas, stomach and rectum.

Cancer Research UK analyzed 3.9 million cancer cases between 1995 and 2014 in seven high-income comparable countries providing universal health care (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom).

Esophageal and ovarian cancer has been better than the UK compared to some other countries.

The authors of the study explained that the differences between countries were partly explained by the speed with which patients get a diagnosis and then rapid access to effective treatment.

John Butler, Clinical Advisor for Cancer Research UK, co-author of the study and consulting surgeon at Royal Marsden Hospital in London, said: "For lung, ovarian and breast cancers. esophagus in particular, the survival increased surgery has radically improved and there is more surgery than before.

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

"But even though we are still looking for solutions to reduce the survival gap between countries, we know that a continued investment in early diagnosis and cancer care plays an important role.

"Despite our changes, we have progressed more slowly than others."

However, research has shown that cancer survival one year after diagnosis and at five years has improved in the seven types of cancer in the UK over the past 20 years.

For example, the five-year survival of rectal cancer in the United Kingdom has increased by 14 percentage points since 1995, from 48% to 62%.

The UK also has one of the largest increases in five-year survival – nearly 12 percentage points – in all countries for bowel cancer.

Sara Hiom, director of early diagnosis at Cancer Research UK, said: "Although we are on the right track, the numbers show that we can certainly do better.

"We will not see the necessary improvements in diagnosis and access to treatment if we do not have enough appropriate employees in our NHS."

In response to the report, NHS England said it was obsolete, while the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs cited other data showing that one-year survival rates of all types of cancer reach a record level.

In England, one-year survival increased from 62% in 2001 to 72.8% in 2016.

A spokesperson said: "Cancer survival rates have reached record levels, but we are determined to go further and save even more.

"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 € 33.9 billion a year we invest in our NHS will help the health service to recruit the staff it needs for the future."