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Cancer Survival Increasing in High-Income Countries

International disparities observed, with survival generally higher in Australia, Canada, and Norway

THURSDAY, Sept. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Cancer survival is continuing to increase across high-income countries, although there are international disparities, according to a study published online Sept. 11 in The Lancet Oncology.

Melina Arnold, Ph.D., from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, and colleagues used data for 3,764,543 cases of cancer in 19 eligible jurisdictions in seven countries for seven sites of cancer. Age-standardized net survival was examined at one and five years after diagnosis by site, age group, and period of diagnosis.

The researchers found that during 1995 to 2014, in each country, one-year and five-year net survival increased across almost all cancer types; for example, five-year rectal cancer survival increased more than 13 percent in Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Survival was generally higher in Australia, Canada, and Norway than in New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom for 2010 to 2014. Greater survival improvements were seen for patients <75 years versus ≥75 years at diagnosis during the study period and for cancers with poor prognosis such as esophageal, stomach, pancreatic, and lung. During the study period, progress in cancer control (increased survival, decreased mortality and incidence) was seen for stomach, colon, lung (in men), and ovarian cancer.

“Earlier diagnosis, improved treatment, and other policy reforms have ensured improved pathways for patients to diagnosis and treatment and have all likely contributed to improved outcomes,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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