A new study has uncovered that England has the lowest cancer survival rates compared to other western countries that were reported in the study. These results are worrying and raise important questions over the efficiency of the NHS in combating and preventing cancer.
Recent studies show that one in two people is affected by a type of cancer in his or her life. To this extent the NHS has upped the efforts to battle the scariest disease of them all. But, it seems, effects will take some time to be seen.
The newest study conducted by Cancer Research UK shows that, out of a total of six countries, England is the worst off when it comes to the survival rates of cancer patients, and in some cases the difference in percentage with the highest rates is 12%.
The study looked at six different types of cancer – stomach cancer, colon cancer, rectum cancer, lung cancer, as well as ovarian cancer. For all but one of these types of cancer, England had by far the lowest rates of survival. The five other countries involved in the research were Australia, Canada, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.
The reason for these results, the experts say, is the poor care that the patients the UK receive. Still, there are signs of improvement over the last surveys of this kind.
This particular one looked at four million patients who had been diagnosed with cancer in the six countries, and monitored their conditions over fifteen years. This comes to rule out the possibility that the results only reflect the reality over a short period of time. They do not. It’s been so for 15 long years, between 1995 and 2009.
It is indeed possible that this is why the NHS has decided to take a more stalwart stance against this deadly disease.
The survival rate encompasses those who have been diagnosed with one form of the affection or the other, and manage to survive it for at least five years. In England, patients diagnosed between 2005 and 2009 had between 5 and 12 percent chance of survival over five years.
Another finding of the study is that not only is cancer treated poorly in the whole country, it’s treated better in London than in provincial areas. The research center warns that this should not be the case and raises the question of healthcare equality.
The best results overall were shown in Australia and Sweden, while Canada and Norway both fared well in Lung and Rectum cancer respectively. Surprisingly, Denmark was second last after England, and in the Stomach Cancer results it took the last place. Unfortunately, this study did not analyze any cases from the US.
Image source: wikimedia.org
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