A recent BU study, published in Archives of Internal Medicine Research, provides a profile of how well major developed countries have improved cancer mortality rates between 1989 and 2015.
The data, drawn from World Health Organisation annual statistics, showed that, no other country had a bigger reduction in overall cancer deaths during this period than the UK.
Professor Colin Pritchard who led the research explained: “The most accurate measure of long-term cancer treatment is in a country’s cancer death rates. The good news is that whilst every country has reduced its cancer deaths over past 30 years, the UK has done even better.”
The improvements in the mortality rate for breast cancer in females was particularly significant.
Whilst breast cancer mortality fell in every major developed country, no other country had significantly greater falls in breast cancer mortality than the UK.
Although UK prostate cancer deaths have also reduced substantially during this period, the UK did not see as bigger fall in mortality as four other Western nations.
Overall, this study paints a more positive picture on UK cancer mortality rates than has previously been published.
The results reflect well on UK services for overall total and breast cancer mortality rates, showing the NHS achieving more with proportionately less, as the UK spends less GDP on health than most major developed countries.