Cancer Survival Rates Differ Across the World

by Tanya Thomas on Jul 18 2008 11:07 AM

Your chances of winning the battle against cancer are likely to depend on your race, gender and nationality. Surprised? Read on…

A global analysis has shown that cancer survival rate varies widely among different countries

The worldwide analysis of 31 countries in 5 continents found that black men and women are less likely to survive cancer than white men and women in the United States.

The CONCORD study involved analysis of people suffering from cancers of the breast (women), colon, rectum and prostate.

The team found that the USA has the highest 5-year survival rate for prostate cancer.

Breast cancer women were 80 pct more likely to survive in North America, Sweden, Japan, Finland and Australia, while the rate dropped to 60pct in Brazil and Slovakia.

The survival rates were even bad in Algeria with only 40 pct women surviving cancer.

However, in the USA 84.7 pct white women survived compared to 70.9 pct black women.

For people suffering from colorectal cancer, the five-year survival was higher in North America, Japan, Australia and some western European countries and lower in Algeria, Brazil and in eastern European countries.

White patients in the USA were 10pct more likely than black patients to survive colorectal cancer.

The five-year survival in prostate cancer patients was higher in the USA with 92 pct than in all other 30 countries.

However, the survival rate slightly differed in black and white men. Almost 92pct white patients and 85.8 pct black patients were likely to survive prostate cancer.

"The differences in cancer survival between countries and between black and white men and women in the USA are large and consistent across geographic areas," said Michel P Coleman, Professor of Epidemiology and Vital Statistics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and lead author of the study,

"Most of the wide variation in survival is likely to be due to differences in access to diagnostic and treatment services, and factors such as tumor biology, state at diagnosis or compliance with treatment may also be significant," he added.

The study is published online today in Lancet Oncology.