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This article is from the WebMD News Archive

Cancer Survival Rates Vary by Country

Cancer Survival Disparities

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 WebMD.

"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.

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