Globally, cancer is the second-leading cause of death, with 9.6 million people dying from the disease every year.
Since the year 2000, World Cancer Day has been adopted as part of an initiative to promote research, prevent cancer, improve patient services, raise awareness and mobilise the global community to make progress against cancer, and includes the adoption of World Cancer Day. This World Cancer Day, we’re reflecting about how cancer services in Wales perform on the world stage.
Wales is among the poorest performing countries in Europe when it comes to cancer diagnosis and treatment. If cancer services in Wales performed in line with the best services in Europe, it is estimated that 600 lives per year could be saved. Even if Wales managed to achieve the European average, an additional 300 lives per year could be saved.
Lung and bowel cancer represent the two most common causes of cancer related death in Wales. European comparison tables show that Wales ranks 28 out of 29 countries in terms of lung cancer survival. In bowel cancer, recent collaborative research, for which Cancer Research Wales funded the Welsh data collection, indicates that patients in Wales face delays in treatment compared to their counterparts in other countries – up to 92 days longer than the best performing countries.
Approximately 70% of cancer deaths occur in low-to-middle income countries. But even in developed countries such as the UK, there is a substantial deprivation gap. Across Wales, the difference in incidence and mortality rates can vary hugely when the poorest and richest areas are compared. The gap in cancer death rate between the least and most deprived areas in Wales is also widening, and increased by over 14% between 2001-2005 and 2013-2017. There are lots of reasons for this, including higher levels of engagement in known risk behaviours such as smoking and poor diet, differences in access to health information and service provision, and levels of patient engagement with health services.
Health care provision that is made within a research-rich environment consistently demonstrates improved survival rates. Cancer Research Wales is committed to fostering high-quality research to improve outcomes for patients across Wales and beyond.
We are extremely thankful to all our supporters across Wales, without whose continued dedication and generosity this research couldn’t happen.
Cancer Research Wales receives no government funding so our research is only made possible through the generosity of our wonderful supporters. Supporters such as yourself.