Epidemiologists have presented information on survival of nine types of cancer in Spain and have compared it with other European countries. At five years from diagnosis, the lowest survival rate is observed in lung cancer (less than 11 percent), and the highest in testicular cancer (95 percent). Cancer survival in Spain is at the European average.
"The innovative factor contributed by our work is its relevance to population and measurement of relative survival, which enables us to discover survival related to cancer in a more precise way," María Dolores Chirlaque, main author of the study and researcher in the Epidemiology Service of the Department of Health and Consumption in Murcia, said.
The investigation, which has been published in the journal Annals of Oncology, involved the participation of eight Spanish regions which currently hold a population record of cancer (Basque Country, Navarra, Girona, Tarragona, Castellón, Albacete, Murcia and Granada). It shows all the cases of cancer diagnosed between 1995 and 1999 (57,622), their monitoring until December 2004, and their prognosis.
The results enable us to understand the situation and survival five years after the diagnosis of eight malignant tumours in Spain (breast, lung, colon, rectum, prostate, ovary, testicle, melanoma and Hodgkin's lymphoma).
"When compared to the survival average in Europe, Spain is very close to the European average for the nine tumours studied, with differences less than 2%," highlights the researcher. The highest survival rate for most of the tumours is observed in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. On the other hand, the lowest corresponds to the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia.
As for Spain, the greatest differences have been detected in lung cancer (12.4% in Navarra as opposed to 6.1% in Granada), and the smallest, in breast cancer (91.3% in Castellón versus 81.2% in Albacete). [*More information in the table attached].
"In the past cancer was considered to be fatal. However, nowadays it has come to be recognised as a curable illness," Chirlaque points out. "Testimony to this is the results shown in this study, which indicate that of every four people who suffer from it (with the exception of lung cancer), more than three overcome it."
Materials provided by FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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