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Thousands of cancer patients 'die unnecessarily'

As many as 10,000 lives could be saved every year in Britain, if cancer treatment was more effective.

New figures show survival rates are among the worst in Europe. Part of the problem is the length of time it takes for cancer to be diagnosed.

“It’s tragic. It means 10,000 people a year are dying of cancer completely unnecessarily,” cancer specialist Professor Karol Sikora says.

“The problem can be solved by fast-tracking diagnostic process – scans, biopsies not just for those likely to have cancer, but for everybody,” he says.

Research into cancer survival rates found that only the Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark had worse rates for surviving bowel cancer than Britain while cervical cancer rates were worse in only Ireland and Poland, the Health at a Glance 2013 study found.

NHS England says the first step is to increase awareness.

“Campaigns over the last two years have demonstrated that we can make improvements in patients’ awareness of symptoms – that’s the first step,“ says Sean Duffy, NHS England Cancer Services director.

UK 'lagging behind' Europe on cancer survival rates

Research into cancer survival rates found that only the Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark had worse rates for surviving bowel cancer than Britain while cervical cancer rates were worse in only Ireland and Poland, the Health at a Glance 2013 study found.

Here is a breakdown of the study's findings:

  • Britain also had higher rates of infant death than most other countries, the Health at a Glance 2013 study found.
  • It recorded 4.3 deaths out of every 1,000 births compared with the OECD average of 4.1.
  • Researchers also found that more than 40 per cent of 15 year olds in the UK have been drunk more than twice and it was one of four countries where more girls than boys reported drunkenness.


Study reveals UK's cancer survival rates behind Europe

A new study suggests 10,000 lives a year could be saved in the UK. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Britain's cancer survival rates are lagging behind the rest of Europe and other major economies, with just Poland and Ireland faring worse in some strains of the disease, an international health study has revealed.

Experts said 10,000 lives a year could be saved if the United Kingdom managed to simply meet the average rates achieved across Europe.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report compares key health records from its 34 member countries as well as the so-called BRIC countries and other nations where possible.

It found that women with breast cancer were more likely to reach the five-year survival point in almost all countries other than Britain, with only the Czech Republic, Poland and Ireland trailing behind.

Clegg: 'Isolationist forces in Britain are on the rise'

In a speech in which Nick Clegg argued that Europe "richer, stronger, safer and greener", the deputy prime minister also outlined "isolationist forces" which he says are on the rise in Britain.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

He said: "The isolationist forces in Britain are on the rise - UKIP on the doorstep; Conservative politicians at their conference; familiar headlines in some of our newspapers each placing Britain’s ills firmly at Brussels’ door: too much immigration, too much crime, too much red tape.

"And every time Europe is back in the spotlight, their hostility towards it – this negative reaction to all things continental – drowns out the other voices in this debate."

Nick Clegg's speech was entitled Richer, stronger, safer, greener.

Nick Clegg: 'Being in Europe makes Britain stronger'

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg used a speech on Britain and Europe to say pro-Europeans need to take responsibility for the "negative reaction to all things continental".


Fireworks light up Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day

Traditional fireworks lit up the night sky near the Eiffel Tower on Sunday as Parisians gathered under France's most beloved monument to celebrate Bastille Day.

The Eiffel Tower is illuminated during the traditional Bastille Day fireworks display in Paris. Credit: Reuters

Sparkles of red white and blue burst overhead as onlookers grooved to a mix of French songs, international dance numbers and even an occasional Bollywood tune thrown in.

Lasers and fireworks light the sky around the Eiffel Tower. Credit: Reuters

The 'Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite'-themed display that lasted about thirty minutes cost the city 600,000 euros, local media reported.

Lights shine from the Eiffel Tower during Bastille Day celebrations. Credit: Reuters

Bastille Day is the name given to France's day of national celebration, often called La Fete Nationale in France.

Mandelson: Business and security at risk if UK leaves EU

Lord Mandelson served as Trade Commissioner to the EU for four years and was Business Secretary between 2009 and 2010. Credit: PA

Former Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said: "If Britain quit the EU, amongst the losers would be businesses foregoing trade and investment opportunities, their employees whose jobs and workplace rights would be at risk, the police and security agencies who would sacrifice vital collaboration."

"The British people would lose the freedom to travel, live and work as they wish across Europe," he continued.

"In return we would get the dubious satisfaction of standing alone in the world."

Lib Dem minister warns against 'reckless isolationists'

Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander is Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Credit: PA

Treasury minister Danny Alexander said the EU was "one of the central pillars of British prosperity and security".

"Membership of the EU gives market access to British firms, makes us more attractive to overseas investors, and underpins more than three million British jobs," he said.

"EU trade deals with the US, India, Canada and Japan will be worth billions to the UK economy but could not be won by the UK alone."

"Britain must work with our allies for change from within to ensure the EU continues to take reform seriously.

"The isolationists are reckless with our prosperity and security. We cannot let them succeed."

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