Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

Global cancer survival rates improve, but wide gaps remain


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Findings of the study


Findings of the study

  1. Cancer patients’ survival prospects are improving, even for some of the deadliest types such as lung cancer
  2. But there are huge disparities between countries, particularly for children
  3. While brain tumour survival in children has improved in many countries, five-year survival is twice as high in Denmark and Sweden, at around 80%, as it is in Mexico and Brazil, at less than 40%
  4. For most cancers over the past 15 years, survival is highest in just a few wealthy countries – the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Sweden
    Possible reason behind this disparity
  5. This gap was most likely due to variations in the availability and quality of cancer diagnosis and treatment services

Particular case of the Breast Cancer

  1. For women diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia and the United States between 2010 and 2014 for example, five-year survival is 90%
  2. That compares to 66% for women diagnosed in India. Within Europe, five-year breast cancer survival increased to at least 85% in 16 countries including Britain, compared with 71% in Eastern Europe

Particulars of the research

  1. Research: the CONCORD-3 study
  2. It is published in The Lancet medical journal
  3. In the research, the scientists analysed patient records from 322 cancer registries in 71 countries and territories, comparing five-year survival rates for 18 common cancers for more than 37.5 million adults and children

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