Until now, direct comparisons of cancer patient survival between rich and poor countries have not generally been available. The “Concord”- study is a worldwide analysis of cancer survival and provides directly comparable data on 1.9 million adult cancer patients aged between 15 and 99 from 101 cancer registries in 31 countries on 5 continents. The study covers cancers of the breast (women), colon, rectum and prostate, which comprise a majority of all newly diagnosed cancers in adults. The study includes analyses of cancer survival in 16 states and 6 metropolitan areas in the USA, covering 42 percent of the population – four times as many as in previous studies.
Five-year relative survival for breast cancer ranged from 80 percent or higher in North America, Sweden, Japan, Finland and Australia to less than 60 percent in Brazil and Slovakia, and below 40 percent in Algeria. Survival for white women in the USA (84.7 percent) was 14 percent higher than for black women (70.9 percent).
For colorectal cancer, 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. Survival for white patients in the USA was 10 percent higher than for black patients (60 percent compared with 50 percent). For prostate cancer, 5-year survival was higher in the USA (92 percent) than in all 30 of the other participating countries. However, there was a 7 percent difference in survival between black and white men (92 percent compared with 85.8 percent).
Michel P Coleman, Professor of Epidemiology and Vital Statistics at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and lead author of the study, comments: '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. 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 tumour biology, state at diagnosis or compliance with treatment may also be significant.
MEDICA.de; Source: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine