Comparing Total Neoplasms, Breast & Prostate Cancer Mortality Rates of the UK and 20 Major Developed Countries 1989-91 v 2013-15 - Identifying Progress

Author(s): Colin Pritchard, Brian Birch, Tamish Hickish, Emily Rosenorn-Lanng

Introduction: Britain’s cancer survival results have been criticised as being significantly higher than twenty Major Developed Countries (MDC). Hence this comparison of current UK Total Age-Standardised-Death-Rates (ASDR), female Breast and Prostate cancer mortality rates with twenty (MDC) between1989 to 2015 to determine any significant change.

Method: WHO data ASDR per million (pm) for Total, Breast and Prostate cancer mortality rates examined for the years 1989-91 to 2013-15. Confidence Intervals (+/- 95%) are used to determine any significant differences between the UK and other country’s outcomes over the period. Chi square tests for each nation’s Breast and Prostate mortality.

Results: Every country’s Total ASDR, Breast and Prostate cancer mortality fell except Greece and Japan. Total ASDR Male cancer mortality rates ranged from Portugal 1653pm to Sweden 1232pm. UK at 1475pm were 10th but had been 6th highest. Total ASDR Female rates went from Denmark’s 1176pm to Japan’s 740pm, the UK 1092pm now 5th but previously had been second highest. No country’s Total rates fell significantly more than Britain’s who had significantly bigger reductions than four other countries for both sexes. Breast mortality ranged from Ireland’s 206pm to Japan’s 99pm, UK rates fell significantly more than five countries. Whilst Breast mortality fell in every country Norway and UK had significantly bigger reductions in Breast than Prostate deaths, conversely France’s Prostate rates fell more than Breast mortality. Prostate mortality went from Norway 213pm Japan’s 60pm, the UK 167pm and five countries had greater reductions than Britain.

Conclusions: Results reflect well on UK services for Total and Breast cancers, showing the NHS achieving more with proportionately less as Britain spends less on health than most MDC.

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