Neoplasms, Breast & Prostate Cancer Mortality Rates in the UK and 20 Major Developed Countries 1989-91 v 2013-15 – A Comparative Study

Introduction: The United Kingdom’s cancer survival rates have been chastised for being much higher than those of twenty other developed countries (MDC). As a result, between 1989 and 2015, we compared current UK Total Age-Standardised-Death-Rates (ASDR), female Breast and Prostate cancer mortality rates with twenty (MDC) to see if there was any notable difference.

Method: For the years 1989-91 to 2013-15, WHO data ASDR per million (pm) for total, breast, and prostate cancer death rates were investigated. To determine any significant variations between the UK and other countries’ outcomes over time, Confidence Intervals (+/- 95%) are employed. For each country’s Breast and Prostate Mortality, Chi square tests were used.

Except for Greece and Japan, all country’s Total ASDR, Breast, and Prostate cancer death rates decreased.

Male cancer mortality rates in the ASDR ranged from 1653pm in Portugal to 1232pm in Sweden. At 1475pm, the United Kingdom was ranked 10th, although had previously been ranked 6th.

Total ASDR Female rates fell from 1176pm in Denmark to 740pm in Japan, with the UK’s 1092pm currently in fifth place after previously being second.

For both sexes, no country’s total rates declined significantly more than Britain’s, which fell significantly more than four other countries.

Breast mortality rates declined much more than five countries, ranging from 206pm in Ireland to 99pm in Japan.

While Breast mortality decreased in every country, Breast mortality decreased much more in Norway and the United Kingdom than Prostate mortality, while Prostate mortality decreased more in France.

Prostate mortality fell from 213pm in Norway to 60pm in Japan, 167pm in the UK, and five countries had lower rates than the UK. Conclusions: The findings are positive for both total and breast cancer services in the United Kingdom, demonstrating that the NHS can achieve more with proportionately less spending because Britain spends less on health than most MDC. The need of improving UK prostate results is briefly explored, including the need for a public awareness campaign similar to the successful Breast cancer awareness programme of the 1990s.

Author (s) Details

Professor Colin Pritchard
Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, Bournemouth University, UK.

Brian Birch
School of Medicine, University of Southampton, UK.

Tamish Hickish
Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, Bournemouth University, UK.

Emily Rosenorn-Lanng
Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, Bournemouth University, UK.

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