The survival rates for several cancers in India are lower than those in Europe or North America, a study has revealed, reflecting what some doctors believe are long-standing concerns about delayed diagnosis and lack of access to appropriate treatment.
The study, the largest and most up-to-date exercise to analyse global cancer survival trends, has found the highest survival rates for most cancers in Australia, Canada, Finland, Iceland, Norway and the US.
The findings by an international team of researchers suggest that women diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia and the US between 2010 and 2014 had a five-year survival of 90 per cent – in other words, nine of 10 women diagnosed with breast cancer will be alive five years after diagnosis. But the corresponding figure in India is 66 per cent.
Patients with colon cancer in Australia, Israel and Korea had a 70 per cent or higher chance of survival, while the corresponding figures for patients in Canada, the US, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and Japan were 60 to 69 per cent. But five-year survival among patients with colon cancer was less than 50 per cent in India, Ecuador, Russia and Thailand.
Doctors have long viewed five-year survival as a key measure of the effectiveness of cancer treatment. The researchers caution that low survival in a country should not be interpreted as an indicator of the competence of doctors or health care professionals.
“Population-based survival reflects the overall effectiveness of the health service, which depends on wider issues than the competence of any individual doctor or team,” the researchers have said in their study, published on Wednesday in The Lancet, a medical research journal.
(Source : TT )