Breaking the Cycle of Cancer Care

This article is produced and funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb with support from The Patients Association.

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Cancer prevalence in the UK is increasing; current estimates show that one in two of us born after 1960 will turn to the NHS for a form of cancer treatment at one point in our livesi. However, the UK allocates much less of its health spending to cancer (3.8%) than the EU average (5%) and survival lags behind much of Europe.
Whilst the NHS has set itself the target of radically improving cancer outcomes over the next five years, it is likely that this target will have to be achieved without significant extra investment. This squeeze on NHS resources can lead to a negative cycle in cancer care, where too often a short term approach that focuses on immediate pressures can often lead to longer term costs, resulting in fewer resources being available.ii
In order to support the NHS to radically improve patient outcomes iii , we need to break the negative cycle in cancer care. To address this challenge, Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Patients Association are working alongside experts and patients from across the cancer space to identify new models of service delivery, showcase best practice, and provide real improvements in patient care.


Job bag: ONCUK1700375-01
Date of preparation: April 2017

Ahmad AS, Ormiston-Smith N, Sasieni PD. Trends in the lifetime risk of developing cancer in Great Britain: Comparison of risk for those born in 1930 to 1960. Br J Cancer 2015; 112: 943-947

ii Cole, A, Lundqvist A, Lorgelly P, et al. Office of Health Economic and Swedish Institute for Health Economics, 2016. Improving Efficiency and Resource Allocation in Future Cancer Care. Available here: (Accessed: September 2016).

Independent Cancer Taskforce, 2015. Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes a Strategy for England 2015-2020, available here: [Accessed February 2017]

Ahmad AS, Ormiston-Smith N, Sasieni PD. Trends in the lifetime risk of developing cancer in Great Britain: Comparison of risk for those born in 1930 to 1960. Br J Cancer 2015; 112: 943-947
Cole, A, Lundqvist A, Lorgelly P, et al. Office of Health Economic and Swedish Institute for Health Economics, 2016. Improving Efficiency and Resource Allocation in Future Cancer Care. Available at: https://www.ohe.org/publications/improving-efficiency-and-resource-allocation-future-cancer-care (Accessed: September 2016).

iii Independent Cancer Taskforce, 2015. Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes a Strategy for England 2015-2020, available here: [Accessed February 2017]