Fight against cancer must undergo a 'fundamental reset', leading doctors warn ... trends now

Fight against cancer must undergo a 'fundamental reset', leading doctors warn ... trends now
Fight against cancer must undergo a 'fundamental reset', leading doctors warn ... trends now

Fight against cancer must undergo a 'fundamental reset', leading doctors warn ... trends now

Cancer care must undergo a 'fundamental reset' to improve care and stop more patients from dying, leading doctors have warned.

The group of senior clinical cancer specialists are calling for the development of radical cancer control plans to make the system 'fit for the future'.

They estimate there will be up to 2,000 extra cancer cases per week by 2040 but warned the UK was already failing to keep pace with other countries.

Writing in the Lancet Oncology, they said the UK's poor performance compared to other countries shows that our approach to cancer care contradicts international consensus and is 'not working'.

With all UK nations in the bottom half of cancer league tables, they team argued a fundamental reset is needed to reverse the problem.

The group of senior clinical cancer specialists are calling for the development of radical cancer control plans as they anticipate a need for a cancer service 'fit for the future'.  According to Cancer Research UK, 10-year cancer survival rates for many common cancers have now reached above the 50 per cent mark, and experts say further improvements could be made in the next decade

The group of senior clinical cancer specialists are calling for the development of radical cancer control plans as they anticipate a need for a cancer service 'fit for the future'.  According to Cancer Research UK, 10-year cancer survival rates for many common cancers have now reached above the 50 per cent mark, and experts say further improvements could be made in the next decade

Writing in Lancet Oncology, they said the UK's poor performance compared to other countries shows our approach to cancer care contradicts international consensus and is 'not working.' With all UK nations were in the bottom half of cancer league tables, they said a fundamental reset is needed to reverse the problem

Writing in Lancet Oncology, they said the UK's poor performance compared to other countries shows our approach to cancer care contradicts international consensus and is 'not working.' With all UK nations were in the bottom half of cancer league tables, they said a fundamental reset is needed to reverse the problem 

The paper outlines a 10-point plan to improve cancer care and calls for the creation of a UK-wide National Cancer Control Plan, along with a prevention programme for smoking, obesity and alcohol consumption.

This includes establishing a National Cancer Research Institute and broaden cancer research and delivering on the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan to boost staff levels.

They said delivery of the main 62-day treatment target is vital to ensure patients are given care in a timely manner and urged integration of hospice care into the NHS.

It comes after the Government revealed plans to integrate its national cancer control plan into the Major Conditions Strategy, which was launched in January 2023.

The blueprint will aim to improve health outcomes over the next five years and will cover cancer, heart disease, musculoskeletal disorders, poor mental health, dementia and respiratory diseases.

Mark Lawler, chairman of the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership, said it was akin to 'abandoning' a national cancer, describing it as 'an incomprehensible decision not in the best interests of people with cancer'.

Professor Richard Sullivan, joint senior author and director of the Institute of Cancer Policy at King's College London, said: 'Cancer needs to be a top political priority for the whole of the UK.

'We need care that is clinically led and truly personalised. The failure to deliver specific and properly resourced cancer plans with a research agenda that is fit-for-purpose is also leading to widening patient inequalities, healthcare staff burnout and poor outcomes.

'All the ingredients are there to address these issues. But we need political will.'

Pat Price, visiting professor at Imperial College London and joint senior author, said cancer care is 'fast becoming a monumental crisis' with 'no realistic plan'.

She added: 'A cancer plan is not just a strategy, it is a lifeline for the one in two of us that will get cancer. Cancer patients are consistently being failed, with UK cancer survival outcomes remaining near the bottom of cancer league

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