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Cancer is one of the major public health issues in OECD countries. It is either the first or second cause of death (after cardiovascular disease), accounting for more than a quarter of all deaths in many countries, while at least one-third of cancer can be prevented and a further third can be either detected early or effectively treated.
The HCQI project has identified cancer care as a priority area for further quality of care indicator development. The following indicators are currently considered suitable for international comparison:
- Cancer survival rates (breast, cervical and colorectal cancers)
- Cancer mortality rates (all and by type of cancer)
- Screening rates (breast and cervical cancers)
The OECD has expanded the cross-national analysis of the quality of cancer care performance due to the maturity of available indicators and the policy relevance of cancer mortality across OECD countries. The analytical work involved the OECD network of national cancer experts and collaboration with key organisations and projects with international expertise in this area, including the CONCORD study which has recently undertaken a major study involving an international comparison of survival rates and the EUROCARE study which follows the survival of cancer patients in Europe.
ISBN 978 92 64 180963
30 October 2013
OECD Health Policy Studies
Cancer Care: Assuring Quality to Improve Survival
More than five million new cases of cancer are diagnosed every year in OECD countries. Mortality rates are declining, but not as fast as for other big killers such as heart disease, and cancer survival rates show almost a four-fold difference across countries. In short, many countries are not doing as well as they could in the fight against cancer.
Cancer Care: Assuring Quality to Improve Survival surveys the policy trends in cancer care over recent years and looks at survival rates to identify why some countries are doing better than others. It sets out what governments should do to reduce the burden of cancer in their countries. As well as an adequate level of resourcing, a comprehensive national cancer control plan appears critical, emphasising initiatives such as early detection and fast-track treatment pathways. Countries also need better data, particularly for patients’ experiences of care, in order to provide high quality, continuously improving cancer care.
>> Read the press release: Improving detection and treatment would cut cancer death rates significantly, says OECD.
>> Read the FOCUS ON HEALTH, November 2013: "Cancer Care: Assuring Quality to Improve Survival".
This report received financial assistance from the European Union
Table of contents
Chapter 1. Cancer care systems: Increasing burdens and existing performance gaps
Chapter 2. Resources for cancer care
Chapter 3. Cancer care practice
Chapter 4. Governance of cancer care systems
Chapter 5. Explorative analysis
Chapter 6. Policy recommendations
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How to obtain this publication
Readers can access the full version of "Cancer Care: Assuring Quality to Improve Survival" by choosing from the following options:
Health Care Quality Indicators
A Disease-based Comparison of Health Systems - What is Best and at What Cost?