Canadians living with certain types of cancer have some of the strongest five-year survival rates in the world, according to a recent report.
The CONCORD study, published in the latest edition of The Lancet Oncology, claims Canada consistently ranks among the highest in a worldwide estimate of survival rates for four types of cancer which include breast cancer in women, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer in women and men, in 31 countries.
The study included cancer registries from several provinces representing 58 percent of the population.
The United States ranked first for breast and prostate cancer survival rates but the results varied widely from state to state, showing quality of care isn’t consistent across the nation especially when it comes to race. The study showed survival rates among black cancer patients lagged behind those of whites.
Canada ranked second overall in patient survival for breast cancer, third for prostate and colorectal cancer for women and sixth for colorectal cancer in men. Even though we didn’t rank first, our system did display consistency across the board with people from every region receiving the same quality of care, according to the report.
“What we think is quite striking is that for all of these cancers, the survival in Canada is high and pretty uniform,” he said. “There isn’t much difference between the Canadian provinces,” the study’s lead author Dr. Michel Coleman said.
Japan has the best colorectal cancer survival rates for men and France for women.
More than 100 researchers collected the data on four common cancers covering a total population of about 300 million in 31 countries.
Canada must look to other countries that are more successful in cancer rates to see how we can improve and use the knowledge we do have to help other nations that are struggling, study co-author and Canadian Dr. Mark Elwood said.
“Cancer is a worldwide disease and the treatment and management of cancer is a worldwide process,” he explained. “And we’re all conscious of what’s happening elsewhere in the world. We’re conscious of differences in approach, different methods of health-care management, as well as different treatments.”