Britain Falls Behind On Cancer Survival Rates

First Posted: 24/11/11 10:11 Updated: 24/11/11 10:11   PA

Britains Cancer Survival Rate Behind

The UK is lagging behind other countries on survival rates for breast, bowel and cervical cancer and has much higher hospital admission rates for asthma, research shows.

Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revealed the UK spent more in 2009 than the average of 34 countries on healthcare yet some patients fared worse.

Health spending accounted for 9.8% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the United Kingdom in 2009, exceeding the OECD average of 9.6%.

The OECD includes many of the world's most advanced countries, such as the US, UK, France and Germany but also emerging countries such as Chile, Turkey and Mexico.

The report showed the five-year survival rate for breast cancer during 2004 to 2009 was 81% in the UK.

This was up from 75% during 1997 to 2002, but still lower than the OECD average of 84%. Survival is highest in America at 89%.

For cervical cancer, five-year survival stood at 59%, lower than the OECD average of 66% and the 78% seen in Norway.

For bowel cancer, the five-year survival rate was 54% for women and 53% for men, compared with an OECD average of 62% and 60% respectively. In Japan, the figure was highest at 68%.

For all cancers combined, the UK ranked 16th out of the 34 countries when it came to death rates. It also had a higher cancer incidence (269.4 cases per 100,000 people) than the OECD average of 260.9.

There were also more avoidable hospital admissions for asthma in the UK than the average. Typically, 52 out of 100,000 adults in OECD countries are admitted to hospital for asthma each year. In the UK, the figure is 74.

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Filed by Kyrsty Jade Hazell  |