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.
Breast cancer statistics - better survival and lower mortality
Source: OECD HCQI and Health Data 2009 (Click to highlight countries, track over time and view data.)
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, breast, cervical, colon, lung and prostate cancers)
- Screening rates (breast and cervical cancers)
Cross-national data and related information for these indicators are now available.
The OECD will be expanding work in the cross-national analysis of the quality of cancer care performance. Cancer care has been identifed as a top priority due to the maturity of available indicators and the policy relevance of cancer mortality across OECD countries. The first phase, involving the development of a conceptual framework model and macro level analysis based on readily available HCQI and OECD Health Data, was completed in June 2009. The 2010-2011 work plan includes additional data collection for the second phase through the recently established OECD network of national cancer experts. The aim is to explain cross-country variation in outcomes by national governance and financing of cancer care. This ongoing analytical work will involve 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. The final report will be published in 2012.
OECD Health Care Quality Indicators Project
A Disease-based Comparison of Health Systems - What is Best and at What Cost?