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U.K. cancer survival rates 'lag far behind' rest of EU: analysis

by Thomas Dworetzky, Contributing Reporter | March 25, 2015
Rad Oncology
United Kingdom is far behind other European nations in its battle with cancer, at or near the survival rates in the late 1990s, according to a recent analysis by the Macmillan Cancer Support cancer charity.

Its CONCORD-2 global study compared the five-year cancer survival rates for a range of cancers. The analysis found that lung, breast, colon, and stomach cancer are currently running almost a decade behind the rest of Europe.

For example, Austrians with lung cancer are almost twice as likely to survive five years after diagnosis than those in the U.K. — 18 percent compared with 10 percent.

“This analysis exposes the harsh reality that because UK cancer survival rates are lagging so far behind the rest of Europe, people are dying needlessly. Frankly, this is shameful, said Lynda Thomas, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support.

“What we can see here is that better cancer survival rates are not unachievable. If countries like Sweden, France, Finland and Austria can achieve these rates, then the UK can and should, bridge the gap,” she said.

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