According to international studies, published in the BMJ Open, in the UK, some patients with bowel cancer are waiting for a year to begin treatment.
The researchers found that 10% of patients in England, Northern Ireland and Wales since the first detection of symptoms before treatment could take a year or more.
A team of researchers from the International Partnership Against Cancer in collaboration with countries with similar health systems and high-quality data to track every step of people with bowel cancer before starting treatment. They studied questionnaires completed by 2,866 patients and their physicians, as well as the medical records of patients diagnosed between 2013 and 2015.
Once cancer has been diagnosed in patients in Wales, before the start of chemotherapy was held to an average of 39 days and prior to radiation therapy or surgical intervention - twice as long.
In England, the same data up 145 days in Northern Ireland - 138 days in Scotland - 120 days. Denmark has achieved the best results, with an average of 77 days.
Between the two countries it was also a big difference in time of diagnosis after treatment. Patients in Denmark often waited 27 days to receive a diagnosis of colon cancer, compared with those in Manitoba in Canada, who have waited 76 days.
In the UK, patients in Wales and Northern Ireland were waiting for their diagnosis an average of 60 and 64 days, respectively, compared to patients in Scotland (38 days) and in England (48 days).
Comparing the health care system in similar countries, researchers can reveal important differences in order to improve the diagnosis of cancer in the world and help save more lives.
Waiting for the start of treatment longer may increase anxiety patients and even affect the success of treatment.
"This work shows that before the United Kingdom faces a serious challenge to improve the work with patients with colon cancer - says Sara Chi, director of Cancer Research on early diagnosis of the UK center -. We can learn a lot from other countries and to encourage people to visit the clinic if they notice unusual changes in order to provide the quickest path from diagnosis to treatment. It is also important that we have enough staff and facilities for the operational testing and immediate treatment. Diagnosis of colorectal cancer involves training endoscopists and pathologists, and over time we have seen a shortage of specialists in the UK. Increasing labor that patients can get the necessary help, we will reduce anxiety in patients and their families, will extend the lives of patients and, ultimately, save money on expensive treatments. "
"A significant difference between the participating countries shows that there is real potential to accelerate this process - says Professor David Weller, lead author from the University of Edinburgh -. Further research is needed to understand these differences and use what works well in other countries, giving patients the best care in the UK. "