Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce (LSCT) blames government “neglect and underfunding” for shocking data on UK Cancer Survival rates. The LSCT coalition consists primarily of a number of charities, including Pancreatic Cancer UK, the Brain Tumour Charity and the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and their prime objective is to double cancer survival rates by 2029.
A report published by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in 2018 revealed that the UK was at the bottom of a list for cancer survival rates. The study, based on survival rates in 29 countries over a 5yr period, showed that the UK came 25th for pancreatic cancer, 26th for stomach cancer, 27th for lung cancer, 14th for oesophageal cancer, 21st for liver cancer and 22nd for brain cancer. It also revealed that British patients diagnosed with cancer between 2010 and 2014 had an average survival rate of just 16%, compared to 32.8% in South Korea.
In another report, Cancer Research UK also looked at 3.9 million cases of oesophageal, stomach, bowel, rectum, pancreas, lung and ovarian cancer, between 1995 and 2014, across seven countries with universal healthcare systems (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and the UK), and also found that staff shortages across the NHS, delayed access to diagnosis and delayed access to effective treatments were key contributory factors to poor survival rates in the UK. They point out that although UK cancer survival rates have improved over the last 20yrs, the UK is still at the bottom of the league table for five out of the seven cancers…
- Stomach cancer survival rate in the UK: 20.8% (highest was 32.8% in Australia)
- Bowel cancer survival rate in the UK: 58.9% (highest was 70.8% in Australia)
- Rectal cancer survival rate in the UK: 62.1% (highest was 70.8% in Australia)
- Pancreatic cancer survival rate in the UK: 7.9% (highest was 14.6% in Australia)
- Lung cancer survival rate in the UK: 14.7% (highest was 21.7% in Canada)
As with Cancer Research UK, LSCT chairwoman, Anna Jewell, has now added her voice to growing calls for the government to increase investment into research and symptom awareness campaigns and to tackle staff shortages. She also makes it clear that earlier diagnosis and faster access to improved treatments is the only way the UK will “close the deadly cancer gap.”