Britain’s leading cancer support charity has said that survival rates and care of cancer patients in the UK should be a “national shame”.
In their first “state of the nation report” Macmillan Cancer Support said that tens of thousands of cancer patients were being diagnosed too late, cutting their chances of being successfully treated.
Patients were also being shown a lack of compassion and denied the right to die at home, the charity said.
Although Britain this week marked a major milestone in cancer survival rates, with half of all cancer patients now expected to survive for 10 years or more, Sweden, Denmark and Norway, as well as Australia and Canada, all outperform the UK on survival rates for colorectal, breast, lung and ovarian cancer, the charity said.
The charity’s chief executive, Ciaran Devane, said that its findings “rubbished” any notion that cancer care in the UK had been “fixed”.
A spokesman for the Department of Health said that a £750m investment had “already seen significant improvements in some cancer survival rates”.