Study: Cancer survivability affected by patient location

A new study has concluded that the country patients live in--not to mention their skin color--have an impact on whether they survive cancer. These differences in survival are fueled by differences in the countries' economies, patient access to cancer treatments and the overall availability of healthcare. These disparities exist not only around the world, but also in the United States, according to researcher Michael Coleman, a professor of epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Great Britain.

The study, which was published today in The Lancet Oncology, found that the U.S. has the highest rates of survival for breast and prostate cancers, while Japan has the highest survival rates for men's colon and rectal cancers. France, meanwhile, has the highest survival rates for colon and rectal cancer among women. Also, it found that Canada and Australia have very high survival rates for most cancers.

In the U.S., the best survival rate for cancer is in Hawaii, while the lowest is in New York City for most cancers. But cancer survival rates differ 7 to 14 percent between whites and blacks. Regardless, Europe offers much better overall survival rates, which rank from 10 percent higher for breast cancer and 34 percent for prostate cancer.

To learn more about this study:
- read this Washington Post piece

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