Women are more likely to die from breast cancer in Britain than in Australia, Canada, Norway and Sweden, research revealed today.
Breast cancer survival rates are between 87 and 89 per cent in Britain compared with 91 to 94 per cent in the other four countries, findings published in the British Journal of Cancer showed.
This is despite women in Britain just as likely to be diagnosed early.
Researchers believed the difference in survival rates could be due less aggressive treatment in Britain for women with advanced breast cancer.
"We should now investigate whether the treatment of women with later stage breast cancer meets international standards," lead researcher Dr Sarah Walters said.
"There is particular concern that this is not the case, especially for older women."
Cancer Research also called for an investigation into whether the best treatment was being routinely given to women with advanced breast cancer.
The charity's director of early diagnosis Sara Hiam noted that women in Britain are not routinely given CT scans to check if the disease has spread, which could lead to failings in treatment.
She added that international comparisons like this "are vital" in understanding what influences cancer survival rates.
Researchers analysed data from 257,362 women diagnosed with breast cancer between 2000 and 2007 and recorded in cancer registries.
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