Government unveils new cancer plan

Denmark still struggling compared to its Nordic brethren

The health minister, Sophie Løhde, has revealed a new cancer plan that aims to further improve cancer treatment in Denmark.

The plan, Kræftplan IV (Cancer Plan IV), is tailored to ensure the heath system has the necessary capacity to trace, examine and treat the increasing number of Danes who are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in the coming years.

“We’ve come a long way in the cancer arena thanks to science, the three previous cancer plans and the establishment of the cancer package,” said Løhde.

“But to be able to provide cancer patients with a quick, effective and high-calibre treatment in the future, we must get working on improving the health sector now in order to be prepared for the expected significant increase of cancer patients over the next decade.”

READ MORE: Immense numbers of cancer scans in Denmark delayed

Trailing the neighbours
The first step towards a new cancer plan is the academic process that will map out the current challenges and identify future needs in the cancer arena.

While cancer treatment in Denmark has made considerable strides over the past 15 years and more Danes than ever are surviving the illness, their Nordic neighbours are faring even better.

Male and female Danish cancer patients on average have a 57 and 60 percent chance of being alive five years after being diagnosed. However, in Sweden those figures are 65 and 67 percent.

“Even though we have succeeded in closing a bit of the gap between us and the other Nordic nations, there are still more Swedes, Norwegians and Finns who are surviving cancer compared to the Danes,” said Løhde. “We need to change that, and I hope the government’s new cancer plan will assist in doing so.”

According to the consumer TV program Kontant earlier this month, all five regions in Denmark are guilty of being routinely late in informing women of their need to have a breast cancer scan.

Cancer Plan IV is expected to be revealed sometime in the autumn of 2016.





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