Cancer Care

Assuring Quality to Improve Survival

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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.

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 care systems: Increasing burdens and existing performance gaps

sets out why it is important to study cancer care. It shows that cancer remains a major challenge in all OECD countries, not only in terms of the immense human costs, but also with respect to the financial costs to the health sector, to patients and their families and to the wider economy. It also demonstrates marked differences in survival. This suggests an urgent need to understand whether particular policy approaches are associated with better outcomes.The chapter also explains the conceptual framework used to explore this policy question. Country-level information on cancer care systems and relevant policy approaches are gathered from standardised questionnaires based on this framework and interviews with cancer experts.



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