UK Health Care: 15,000 'Premature,' 'Unnecessary' Cancer Deaths

Posted: Jun 25, 2009 8:35 AM
Add this BBC report to the "let's learn from others' mistakes in health care" file:
Many UK cancer deaths 'premature'

Up to 15,000 people aged over 75 may be dying unnecessarily from cancer each year in the UK, according to research.

The North West Cancer Intelligence Service said their lives would be prolonged if UK cancer survival rates matched the best in Europe and the US.

Researchers said delays in diagnosing cancer in the UK and poorer treatment after diagnosis may be to blame.

The government's national cancer director said urgent action was needed over the study's findings.

Cancer survival rates are calculated on the basis of those who are alive five years after diagnosis.

The researchers, who will present their findings to the National Cancer Intelligence Network, said the number of under-75s dying in the UK was down, but little progress had been made among over-75s and the gap with other countries is growing.
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