UK cancer survival rates at 90s levels - Macmillan

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Cancer survival rates in the UK are at or behind levels other European countries had achieved by the late 1990s, analysis by Macmillan Cancer Support has found.

The CONCORD-2 global study compared five year survival rates for a range of common cancers analysed data for 25,676, 887 patients from 67 countries.

UK survival rates for lung, breast colon and stomach cancer are stuck behind those of other European countries for ten years or more, the charity said. 

Austrian survival rates in the 1990s were better than those currently achieved in the UK with 1995-90 Austria seeing a 14% survival rate while the UK currently has 10%.

The five year survival rate in Austria is 18%, compared to 10% in the UK.

Lynda Thomas, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said:"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.

"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.

"With the general election in our sights, Macmillan is urging all political parties to make cancer a top health priority and commit to improving UK cancer survival rates and outcomes in order to match the best in Europe."

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