Collaboration between public and private organisations is vital if the NHS is to win the war on cancer, says Sanjeev Pandya, CEO of Advanced Oncotherapy (AVO).
The government’s latest strategy to improve cancer treatment in the UK is welcome, but extra funding alone is not the answer. Greater collaboration is the key to winning the war.
UK cancer survival rates have doubled over the past five decades. For the first time, those developing cancer stand more of a chance of surviving for 10 years or more than they do of getting the disease in the first place.
‘Cancer survival rates in the UK lag behind those achieved by many of our European cousins by more than two decades’
Despite this, cancer survival rates in the UK lag behind those achieved by many of our European cousins by more than two decades. The fight to close this gap, while continuing to improve patient outcomes, is one of the most profound facing our health service.
The problem is compounded by challenges on the road ahead. A growing population of older people, combined with improving patient outcomes for other conditions, mean there is greater demand for NHS oncology resources and palliative care.
Another issue is presented by the future of cancer treatment itself. Advances in medical technology and an increasingly sophisticated understanding of genetics is leading to a greater shift towards personalised medicine. Although highly effective, these treatments escalate per patient costs significantly.
All of these factors conspire to make the NHS’s war on cancer increasingly complex and challenging. They also serve to put a heightened strain on already limited budgetary resources.
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