Cancer Survival Rates Vary by Country
July 16, 2008 -- Where you live plays a role in cancer survival, according to a
new study that shows the U.S., Japan, and France recorded the highest survival
rates among 31 nations for four types of cancer. Algeria had the lowest
survival rates for all four cancers.
"This is the first direct comparison of so many countries as far as I am
aware," says Michel Coleman, MD, a professor of epidemiology and vital
statistics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the
study's lead author.
While Coleman and other epidemiologists have long known that cancer survival
rates vary country by country, and even within a country, the study lends hard
numbers to the fact. Still, there were surprises. "I think the surprises
were that the range in global survival is really quite wide," Coleman tells
"Survival in the USA is high on a global scale but varies quite widely
among individual states as well as between blacks and whites within the
USA," he tells WebMD.