Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs
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 Care: Assuring Quality to Improve Survival surveys the policy trends in cancer
care over recent years and looks at survival rates to identify the 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.
Cancer is one of the major public health issues in OECD countries. It is the second cause of death (after cardiovascular disease), accounting for more than a quarter of all deaths in many OECD countries, while at least one-third of cancer can be prevented and a further third can be either detected early or effectively treated. The OECD collects the following indicators on cancer care: Cancer survival estimates (breast, cervical and colorectal cancers), Cancer mortality rates (all and by type of cancer), and Screening rates (breast and cervical cancers).
The OECD has also undertaken a cross-national analysis of the quality of cancer care performance and published the report below. 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 undertakes a study involving an international comparison of survival estimates and the EUROCARE study which follows the survival of cancer patients in Europe.
This report received financial assistance from the European Union