February 17, 2010

The Cost of Cancer

The UK currently has a cancer death rate 6% higher than the European average.  However if the survival rates were improved in England to a level commensurate with the best in Europe, on a cumulative basis by 2020, 71,500 lives could be saved and total costs could be reduced by £10 billion.

The report highlights late diagnosis, poor survival rates for older people and those in deprived communities, and relatively poor take up of new treatments and technologies as being the most likely causes behind the UK’s comparatively high mortality rate.  Key recommendations include the Department of Health identifying and adopting the best practice in cancer services from high-performing European countries, focusing resources where largest reductions in mortality can be achieved and focusing on cancer prevention strategies.


Henry Featherstone

Head of Health Unit, 2008-2010

Lilly Whitham

Health & Social Care Research Fellow, 2010

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