30/10/2013 - Earlier detection and better treatment for cancer would cut death rates from the disease by around a third, saving the lives of nearly a million people in the developed world every year, according to a new report by the OECD prepared with the support of the European Commission, building on earlier World Health Organisation research.
Cancer Care: assuring quality to improve survival says that mortality rates have improved slightly over the past 20 years in most OECD countries, except Greece, Portugal and Estonia. But 7.6 million people still die each year from cancer worldwide and this figure is projected to rise to over 13 million in 2030.
In OECD countries, 2.4 million people die each year from cancer. Improving care standards, cutting waiting times and spending resources more effectively are key steps to save many lives, according to the report.
Chances of survival after a diagnosis of cancer vary widely across countries. Cancer outcomes are persistently poorer in Central and Eastern European countries, whilst countries such as Iceland, Korea and Japan have managed to achieve better survival.
In the fight against cancer, the report recommends that countries:
For more information, journalists should contact: Mark Pearson, Head of OECD Health Division (tel: + 33 1 4524 9269), Rie Fujisawa OECD Health Division, (tel. + 33 1 4524 1409), Niek Klazinga OECD Health Division (tel. + 33 1 45 24 76 11) or Spencer Wilson of the OECD’s Media Division.
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