Yesterday the embassy hosted a seminar on “Visualising the Future of Cancer Care” where challenges and changes in cancer care were at the center of discussions. The event was co-hosted with Business Sweden.

Represented at the seminar were all sides of the cancer care sector – including research centers, hospitals, public policy institutions as well as representatives from industry and prominent cancer charities. Speakers included Sean Duffy, National Clinical Director for Cancer, NHS, Professor Jörgen Larsson, Professor at Karolinska University Hospital, Chris Carrigan, Director of the National Cancer Intelligence Network, Dr Adam Hill, Sectra and Anne Dreyer, Sales and Market Manager, Elekta.

In the last decades enormous progress in cancer treatment has been made due to intensive research worldwide and we note a significant increase in cancer survival both in the UK and Sweden.

Cancer service and the quality of cancer care is a highly topical issue in both our countries. Both our countries are facing similar challenges demographically. With an older population we see an increasing number of new cancer cases. Sweden has a long tradition in cancer research. The Swedish cancer registry was founded already in 1958 and covers the whole population.

When it comes to treatment, the discussion in the UK is often centered on the use of chemotherapy treatment as well as not only the right to treatment but also the right to refuse treatment when the cancer is terminal.

In Sweden the debate is more focused on access to cancer treatment for all patients irrespective where you live in the country.

There are still many obstacles ahead and that is why seminars like this are so important where an open discussion can be had on the challenges as well as changes facing cancer care and treatments.