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  • England’s new cancer strategy – what happens next? - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    will need to involve both Public Health England and NHS England as well as some of the others But since the Taskforce was independent there s a catch the strategy isn t really owned by the organisations that created it So it s now critical that these organisations now develop well integrated plans for how they will put the recommendations into practice and Harpal wrote to the chief executives of each organisation saying as much The good news is that each of them has come out in support of the strategy for example the NHS England board was vocal in its support at its meeting in July and it says that it will provide regular updates on progress But it s also vital that one of the first priorities should be setting up two new groups a National Cancer Team that will work across all of these organisations to put the strategy into practice and a National Cancer Advisory Board that will oversee progress But until we see clear plans we will be keeping up the pressure Making the investment Money is the other crucial factor In November the new Government will carry out a Spending Review the process by which it decides its spending priorities up to 2020 In their manifesto before the election the Conservatives promised We will work with the NHS charities and patient groups to deliver the new strategy recommended by NHS England s Cancer Taskforce And they have already said the Spending Review will also focus on investment for the NHS We also need to see government investment to make it happen Credit Flickr howardlake via CC BY SA 2 0 The NHS spends about 6 7bn on NHS cancer services each year But as we have said before these services are in desperate need of more resources The Taskforce estimates that as the NHS has to cope with more people getting cancer about 1 in 2 of us and more people surviving for longer cancer services could cost around 13bn by 2020 But to put the recommendations in the strategy into practice the Taskforce estimates it will cost around 400 million per year a fraction of what the NHS spends on cancer already This money will be crucial to pay for some key items in the strategy that we believe are really important to make the improvements needed such as To help the NHS diagnose cancer more swiftly a 125 million fund to upgrade equipment like MRI and CT machines and address shortages of staff in diagnostic services 22 5 million to provide a national molecular diagnostic service so that suitable cancer patients can be offered tests to tailor treatment to their cancer On top of this a one off investment of 275 million is needed to urgently replace old radiotherapy machines and upgrade existing equipment to ensure all patients have access to the latest evidence based treatments for their cancer All of this might sound like a lot of money but in the

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/08/03/englands-new-cancer-strategy-what-happens-next/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Fighting FIT – Scotland’s pioneering change to its bowel screening programme - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    faeces And the current FOBT kit involves collecting six small samples of faeces over a few days and posting them to a screening centre as this video explains This isn t the most practical or pleasant way to spend your free time On top of this screening with FOBT isn t perfect no test is and it only picks up about half of bowel cancers This is obviously much better than no screening at all but there s plenty of room for improvement Scotland s new test gets around some of these problems For starters it s a better test than FOBT And the way the samples are analysed means that more bowel cancers could be detected It s also easier to use requiring only one sample that s collected with a brush and then put into a small tube of liquid This simplicity could be key and experts believe that a simpler test will mean more people are likely to take part in screening Crucially this includes men and people from more deprived groups who are less likely to use the FOBT kit So there is evidence that FIT will reduce inequalities which is really important when it comes to diagnosing cancer earlier The new FIT test is also more cost effective which is always good news for cash strapped health services though it will require investment to get the new system up and running We would like to see support to ensure that more people from across the country complete their screening kit And removing barriers such as cost and ease of completing the test have a big part to play What about the rest of the UK Decisions about health policy are made separately in England Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland which means that the organisation of the screening programmes is a decision for each individual nation s government While we know that the FIT test is better than FOBT in a lot of ways we also know that introducing a change to a screening programme takes a lot of time effort and money so it s important it is carefully thought through The good news is that Scotland s decision means that we will learn more about the practicalities of introducing the test which will help the rest of the UK think about how best they could introduce it too In the meantime it s important that work continues in each nation to make sure we get the best out of the existing screening programmes For example we are working with Bowel Screening Wales to look at ways to increase use of the FOBT test Work is already ongoing in England and Northern Ireland to consider whether FIT could replace FOBT as the main bowel screening test and we know Wales is watching developments with interest We d like to see all UK nations follow Scotland s lead and think about how best they can introduce FIT as soon as is feasible Scoping out improvements There

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/02/20/fighting-fit-scotlands-pioneering-change-to-its-bowel-screening-programme/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Cancer waiting time targets – simply not good enough - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    ve known for some time that NHS cancer services are at a tipping point And over the last year the NHS in England has failed to meet one of its key cancer targets that 85 per cent of patients should start treatment within 62 days of being urgently referred by a GP known as the 62 day wait see graphic The NHS in Wales has been having similar problems although their target is higher 95 per cent The last time England s figures were published back in February the target had again been missed but there had seemed to be a small improvement So this morning we waited for the new quarterly cancer waiting times figures with some anxiety And they don t make for happy reading A record low Today s new figures for England show an even bigger decline Almost half of all NHS trusts are now missing the 62 day wait target The target has been missed by the biggest margin since the data were first collected in 2009 But the problems don t stop there We are also seeing a similar picture in today s figures from Wales a substantial low of 83 9 per cent following a fairly consistent decline since early 2014 Neither Scotland or Northern Ireland published new figures today but both have recently missed their 95 per cent 62 day wait targets although Scotland only by a whisker Not about targets But this isn t really about NHS targets It s about patients being let down Over the last three months nearly 6 000 people have had to wait longer than they should for cancer treatment The 62 day wait exists to make sure patients are tested diagnosed and treated quickly after seeing their GP with suspected cancer Swift diagnosis and access to treatment are absolutely vital to patient outcomes as the more advanced a cancer is the harder it is to treat That s not to mention the psychological impact of waiting a long time for test results or treatment to begin it adds extra anxiety for patients when they may already be at their most vulnerable People want confidence that suspected cancer is taken seriously and prioritised by the NHS These breaches have become a trend and they are worsening It is simply not good enough The UK s cancer survival rates lag behind comparable countries and if we are serious about improving them urgent action needs to be taken Services need to be adequately resourced to cope with rising demand something that we have been calling for for some time England s new cancer strategy is currently being written this needs to set out a robust plan for immediate action to ensure cancer patients aren t being let down And we need similar action across all the UK nations to make sure no patients are left waiting at any point in the cancer pathway This shocking situation should not be allowed to continue Heather Walker is a policy manager

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/05/20/cancer-waiting-time-targets-simply-not-good-enough/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Cancer survival – keeping pace with the rest of the pack - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    Olympics now less than a year away hopeful athletes throughout the world are training hard for London 2012 In any major sporting event underachieving teams try to look at all aspects of their performance to figure out how to improve Is it that the other team is faster Or is there something that they are doing differently to give them the edge By identifying acknowledging and addressing such issues technique can be sharpened and performance can be improved Sport isn t the only area where England can improve by comparing its performance with other countries Our cancer survival rates are also some way short of ideal and compared with a number of countries throughout the developed world England is lagging behind In January this year the Government committed to achieving outcomes comparable with the best in the world aiming to save an additional 5 000 lives every year by 2014 15 But in order to save these extra lives we need to know why we compare unfavourably and what needs to be improved A new report published today by the King s Fund a charity that aims to understand how our health system can be improved aims to answer some of these questions How to improve cancer survival The King s Fund report examines why cancer survival rates are lower in England than in some other countries and identifies specific areas that need to be worked on It highlights the fact that compared with other countries English patients are often diagnosed at a later stage In England there are delays in accessing treatment In this country evidence suggests that some older patients are being under treated Interestingly the review also shows that the availability of drugs is unlikely to be a significant cause So these are the areas that need to be worked on to improve our survival rates to give our patients a sporting chance of receiving care that is equal to or even better than our best performing international neighbours Areas to improve The review shows that England s five year survival rates are improving for most types of cancer For some of the most common cancers however survival is static or in some cases has got worse compared with other countries such as Sweden Norway Canada and Australia For example the gap in survival rates for lung cancer between England and other countries has widened in recent years Lung bowel and ovarian cancers account for around 65 000 new patients each year Improving survival for these cancers would make a huge difference to a lot of people As we said this morning there s evidence that older people and deprived social groups are particularly disadvantaged by England s poorer survival rates For a start older people are more likely to get cancer But they are also more likely to be diagnosed later to be under treated and to experience worse outcomes All these hurdles add up to mean that England s survival rates lag behind the best

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2011/06/09/cancer-survival-%E2%80%93-keeping-pace-with-the-rest-of-the-pack/ (2016-02-11)
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  • We need to be careful when comparing US and UK cancer care - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    five year survival rate Clearly whatever controversies surround the diagnosis of the disease the NHS is doing a pretty good job of managing it when it s detected early UK cancer patients find it harder to see an oncologist According to the Mirror some US anti reform adverts have been stating that 40 per cent of UK cancer patients are never able to see an oncologist This figure originates from a report titled Review of the pattern of cancer services in England and Wales published by the Association of Cancer Physicians in 1994 years before the NHS Cancer Plan and the Cancer Reform Strategy were put in place But things have improved hugely since 1994 thanks to the priority the UK government has placed on cancer care Nowadays the vast majority of cancer patients in the UK see a specialist within two weeks The dangers of international comparison Another big difference between UK and US cancer statistics is that in the UK every single cancer diagnosis and death is registered nationally In the US there is not nearly such complete data So even comparing data that s been properly standardised doesn t give the whole picture as we mentioned when discussing the EUROCARE european data a while back But it s only valid to compare international statistics of any sort if you compare like with like and this is extremely difficult to do between different populations especially when the nature of the data is fundamentally different We re not saying the NHS is perfect There s a long way to go with many aspects of cancer care early diagnosis access to treatment and end of life car e to name a few But the picture that s currently being painted in some quarters is very different from the reality And that reality is a picture where UK death rates from all cancers have fallen by almost 20 per cent in the last 40 years and where overall five year survival figures have doubled over the last 30 Death rates for three of the most common cancers breast bowel and male lung cancer have all dropped to their lowest levels in 40 years And since the NHS was founded 60 years ago survival for breast and bowel cancers has more than doubled The patient perspective As a final note the statistics we ve discussed in this post are by their very nature averages But when you re diagnosed with cancer doctors generally give you statistics that are more relevant to the type or stage of disease you yourself have and these may be different from those above If you are a cancer patient or know someone who is and you have question about cancer its treatment or care have a look at our patient information website CancerHelp UK or telephone our Information Nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040 Henry Share this article More on this topic Tags Breast cancer Cancer in the news Prostate cancer Statistics Comments Click here to cancel

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2009/08/17/we-need-to-be-careful-when-comparing-us-and-uk-cancer-care/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Can the UK achieve world class outcomes in cancer treatment? - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    that the UK has poorer cancer survival rates compared to the best performing countries in Europe Late diagnosis where people s cancer is at quite an advanced stage before they receive treatment is thought to play a large role in this So what does the UK need to do to achieve world class outcomes in cancer treatment First Professor Richards defined world class as when the overall burden of cancer in England would be as low as anywhere in the developed world So essentially he wants to see the lowest number of people developing cancer in the first place and the lowest number of people subsequently dying from the disease And we need a high quality of care for people with cancer and good health and wellbeing for the growing number of people who survive the disease The latest figures for England compared to the rest of Europe show the proportion of men developing cancer is better than average and the numbers of men dying from cancer are average But the proportion of women developing cancer and dying from cancer are worse than average So there is plenty of room for improvement particularly among older people where the number of people dying from cancer isn t falling over time in line with other western countries Richards quoted Professor Michel Coleman who has estimated that around 10 000 deaths within five years of a cancer diagnosis could have been avoided each year in Britain in the late 1990s if survival matched the best in Europe In Richards opinion 10 000 avoidable deaths per year is frankly unacceptable What is the situation in the UK Richards pointed out that there are areas where the UK is doing well Death rates from cancer have fallen by nearly 20 per cent since 1995 particularly among men under the age of 65 Accordingly this reflects where we are with lung cancer epidemics where the number of male smokers has dropped dramatically over recent years In fact just 21 per cent of people in the UK still smoke although this figure is as low as 14 15 per cent in other countries Death rates from cancer have also fallen among women but to a lesser extent this is consistent with the fact that the number of female smokers hasn t yet fallen in the same way as the number of male smokers Our screening programmes are also among the best in the world due to our effective processes to invite people for screening And UK waiting times have improved markedly over recent years But the proportion of people receiving curative and palliative treatments is still low compared to some other countries Richards said Addressing these areas could make a big difference in the future For example the best way to treat a type of lung cancer called non small cell lung cancer is to cut it out While this isn t always an option for advanced tumours surgery is only used in around 10 per cent

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2010/01/27/can-the-uk-achieve-world-class-outcomes-in-cancer-treatment/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Detecting cancer earlier – NAEDI - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    FUNDING FOR RESEARCHERS Our funding schemes Biomarker Project Awards Career Development Fellowship Grand Challenge award View all schemes and deadlines Applying for funding Start your application online Guide to filling in your application form How to make a successful application Funding committees Manage your research grant Manage your grant online Guide to managing a grant online Notify us of new publications Update your profile How we deliver research Our research strategy Our institutes Our centres Our research partnerships More Drug discovery and development Recently funded awards Researcher case studies ABOUT US What we do We beat cancer We fundraise We develop policy Our organisation Our strategy Our Trustees CEO and Executive Board Annual report and accounts Annual review Current jobs Graduates and interns Your development Benefits Cancer news Science blog Latest press releases Latest news reports Search all news More Contact Us Press office Publications HOME ABOUT CANCER SUPPORT US NEWS RESOURCES FUNDING RESEARCH ABOUT US You are here Home border 0 Support us Home About us Cancer news Science blog Detecting cancer earlier NAEDI Detecting cancer earlier NAEDI Category Science blog November 25 2008 Henry Scowcroft Professor Coleman speaks at the launch of NAEDI Last Friday several hundred delegates from a wide range of backgrounds including research charities Primary Care trusts GPs and the Cancer Networks descended on Mary Ward House in London for the launch of the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative or NAEDI NAEDI is a joint initiative being led by Cancer Research UK and the Department of Health to coordinate and provide support to activities that promote the earlier diagnosis of cancer So the launch was a fantastic chance for people interested or active in the field to come together and find out more about the Initiative and share best practice Speaking at the launch Cancer Research UK s Professor Michel Coleman showed that up to 11 000 lives could be saved in the UK every year if we raised our survival figures to match the best in Europe This is an important issue since most studies agree that late diagnosis is a key factor behind our lower survival rates And one of the reasons people are diagnosed late with cancer is that they re often unaware of the signs and symptoms of the disease We ll be covering some of the talks and sessions in a bit more detail over the coming weeks but for now here s a recording of Professor Coleman speaking about his research at a press briefing Click on the player to listen Audio clip Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip Download the latest version here You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser Link to download Henry Related posts Spotting the silent killer Breast Unaware International survival trends Share this article More on this topic Tags Early detection Lifestyle NAEDI conference Preventing cancer Statistics Popular posts Most read today Most discussed Don t believe the hype 10 persistent cancer

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2008/11/25/detecting-cancer-earlier-naedi/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Could changes to primary care help improve cancer survival? - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    the GP said they would do something other than refer the patient for tests or to a specialist the scenario would continue with the patient coming back to the doctor with a change in their symptoms The five scenarios were devised to be clinically relevant two involved patients with potential symptoms for lung cancer two for bowel cancer and one for ovarian cancer The team was looking to see whether there were any international differences between the point at which GPs referred patients for further investigation Full details can be found in the paper itself but the graphics below summarise the overall finding This slideshow requires JavaScript As the graphics show in each of the patient scenarios UK GPs were less likely to say they d either send patients for tests or refer them to a specialist at their first appointment than GPs from other nations And crucially in four out of five scenarios this finding mirrored the differences between countries one year cancer survival thought to be an important indicator of whether patients are diagnosed early and thus might partly explain international differences in cancer survival There was one exception one of the lung scenarios where the patient had an existing long term lung condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD Patients with COPD have a greater risk of developing lung cancer a fact which may prompt GPs to investigate or refer to a specialist This was the only scenario where GPs in the UK gave a similar response to colleagues in other countries What about Denmark Denmark bucked the trend possibly due to reforms Looking at the results the eagle eyed among you may have spotted that responses in Denmark buck the trend although Denmark like the UK has low cancer survival its GPs seemed to be just as likely to take action as those in better performing countries Researchers think that this could be explained in part by significant health reforms introduced in Denmark in 2009 aimed at increasing use of diagnostic tests and speeding up the diagnostic process The ICBP survey took place in 2012 13 after the reforms But the international survival data used by the researchers are from 2007 So the differences seen in Denmark could suggest that the reforms are having an effect on GP behaviour but survival data lags behind It will be interesting to update the analyses in the future using more recent survival data to see whether this pattern changes A little local difficulty So why might the UK s GPs be less likely to refer their patients at least initially This brings us to the second part of the survey where the researchers asked GPs a series of questions about a range of issues the availability of diagnostic tests and specialist cancer advice waiting times for test results systems within their practice for following up with patients their own attitudes and perceived role in diagnosing cancer The researchers didn t see any patterns in the answers to these questions that

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/05/28/could-changes-to-primary-care-help-improve-cancer-survival/ (2016-02-11)
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