Cancer Survival Rates are Improving Faster in Some Countries than Others

According to Yahoo! News UK, cancer survival rates have increased over the passed ten years. However, the progress hasn’t been evenly distributed across the board of varying cancers. According to a study that was published in The Lancet, a medical journal, the progress gap has been especially significant for childhood cancers.

Breaking down the results of the study we can see that children’s five-year survival with brain tumors has increased from 54% to 60% in the last 6-10 years, and this is just in the UK. In the US and several other European countries (Sweden, Slovakia, Denmark) survival rates have reached 80% or higher. Yet, unfortunately for places like Mexico and Brazil, less than 40% of children with brain tumors survived.
The authors of the study believe these vastly different numbers are due to the quality of treatments and ability to diagnose the problem, which varies from one country to the next.

For breast cancer, the study showed significant increase to their five-year survival rate to 90% in the US and Australia. Many other European countries are landing amongst 70-85%. In India, they are at 66%.

Other cancers that have seen progress over the years include lung and liver cancer, both shooting up 5% in 21 different countries (including the UK). Pancreatic cancer remains to be extremely fatal, as it’s survival rate is under 15% in most places. Luckily for the researchers of the study, they were able to include many countries and analyze a ton of reports.
In the study they had 31 European, 17 Asian and 13 Latin America countries involved. Unfortunately, they only had 6 countries from Africa, due to lack of data provided. The study was still extensive though, including hundreds of experts and 300 cancer registries looking at over 37.5 million different cancer cases. It’s incredible the amount of information gathered and examined.

We’re always glad to hear that cancer survival rates at improving, but that doesn’t mean it’s going anywhere any time soon. It’s important to ask why some countries are seeing better survival rates than others, and how to address the obstacles in the way.


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