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Friday 21st October 2016

Ovarian cancer treatment in UK 'lagging'

4th October 2012

A government-funded research project has highlighted poor survival rates in the UK for ovarian cancer.


Researchers funded by the Department of Health compared the survival rates of 20,000 patients in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and the UK and discovered the UK ranked worst.

Figures showed that one-year survival was 69% in the UK compared with 72% in Denmark and 74-75% in the other countries.

Researchers also suggested that women in the UK are dying unnecessarily of ovarian cancer – the fifth most common cancer in the country affecting 6,500 women annually - because of a lack of access to the best treatment.

While survival rates have been improving, the UK’s record at managing the advanced stages of ovarian cancer is not good, according to the findings published in the journal Gynecologic Oncology.

Researcher and lead author Dr Bernard Rachet of the Cancer Survival Group at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “Our research is the first population-based study to examine whether low ovarian cancer survival in the UK is due to more women being diagnosed with advanced disease, or to the outcome of treatment in the UK being inferior at each stage.

“The results show that the proportion of women with advanced disease is similar to that in other countries, but that survival for women with advanced disease is much lower.

“This suggests that the success of treatment is lower in the UK, and more effort should be made to ensure that UK women with ovarian cancer have the same access to the best treatments.”


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