A policy review paper calls for a UK Cancer Strategy to address gaps left by the integration of the National Cancer Control Plan into a ‘Major Conditions Strategy’ in England and Wales, and the closure of the National Cancer Research Institute, which authors call a major misstep at a time when the NHS is facing multiple challenges.
Highlighting poor UK performance in cancer care compared with other countries (all UK nations in the bottom half of cancer league tables), and the expectation that by 2040 the UK will have to care for 30% more new cancer patients annually, authors have created their own 10-point plan as a blueprint for a new cancer strategy that will tackle record cancer treatment waiting times, workforce shortages, and the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professor Fiona Walter, co-author on the plan, said: ‘Cancer survival rates in the UK are disappointingly poor compared with other countries, and there is evidence of widening patient inequalities. We urgently need this dedicated national cancer plan to improve patient care by delivering equitable, affordable, research-informed cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment.’
The ten-point plan to improve cancer care includes recommendations to:
Ajay Aggarwal, Ananya Choudhury, Nicola Fearnhead, Pam Kearns, Anna Kirby, Mark Lawler, Sarah Quinlan, Carlo Palmieri, Tom Roques, Richard Simcock, Fiona M Walter, Pat Price, Richard Sullivan. The future of cancer care in the UK—time for a radical and sustainable National Cancer Plan. Lancet Oncol 2023 Published Online November 14, 2023 https://doi.org/10.1016/ S1470-2045(23)00511-9