Thursday, October 11, 2007

US Cancer Survival Rates are Highest in the World

Michael Moore, listen up! There is new evidence from the largest-ever international study of cancer survival rates showing that cancer patients live longer in the United States than anywhere else in the world (see chart above).

According to the survey of cancer survival rates in Europe and the United States, published recently in Lancet Oncology:

1. American women have a 63% chance of living at least five years after a cancer diagnosis, compared to 56% for European women and 53% for British women.

2. American men have a five-year survival rate of 66% compared to only 47 percent for European men and 45% for British men.

3. These figures reflect the care available to all Americans, not just those with private health coverage.

4. Great Britain, known for its 50-year-old government-run, universal health care system -the National Health Service - (portrayed extremely favorably in Michael Moore's movie "Sicko") fares even worse than the European averages, and far below U.S. averages (see chart above).

5. Despite the large number of uninsured, cancer patients in the United States are most likely to be screened regularly, and once diagnosed, have the fastest access to treatment.

The study concludes that "International comparisons establish that the most important factors in cancer survival are early diagnosis, time to treatment and access to the most effective drugs. Some uninsured cancer patients in the United States encounter problems with timely treatment and access, but a far larger proportion of cancer patients in Europe face these troubles. No country on the globe does as good a job overall as the United States."


At 10/11/2007 11:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People working from a narrative don't want to hear facts.

At 10/12/2007 12:48 AM, Blogger happyjuggler0 said...

You need to change the title of your post.

You could make it: US Cancer Survival Rates are Highest in the World

or you could make it: US Cancer Mortality Rates are Lowest in the World

On the other hand, you might attract some more readers who ned to be educated if you simply keep the title as is. :x

At 10/12/2007 4:14 AM, Blogger Vik Rajagopalan said...

It is quite interesting you actually advocate that - US, European Union and UK constitute the "World".

I thought it was the common man that felt like that. Strange indeed.

At 10/12/2007 4:20 AM, Blogger Vik Rajagopalan said...

Please don't take me wrong, I read your blog notes with lot of interest and keep you in a high pedestal.

In your blog note, what is more audacious is that you go on to say - "There is new evidence from the largest-ever international study of cancer survival rates showing that cancer patients live longer in the United States than anywhere else on the planet".

"Planet"? I mean I am here humbly questioning you the reason why you left "Asia/Africa/South America/Asia-Pacific" from being part of the world and the first liner is even preposterous that you constitute US/UK/EU as "planets".

May be I am missing a point but I humbly request you to revisit what you said or please correct me if I said something wrong.

At 10/12/2007 4:24 AM, Blogger Vik Rajagopalan said...

Sorry to show up again, but this time I wanted to interest you in a joke I got as a forward. It for some reason sounded good.

And the joke goes like this,

A worldwide survey was conducted by the UN. The only question asked was:

"Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?"

The survey was a huge failure, In Africa they didn't know what 'food' meant, In India they didn't know what 'honest' meant, In Europe they didn't know what 'shortage' meant, In China they didn't know what 'opinion' meant, In the Middle East they didn't know what 'solution'
meant, In South America they didn't know what 'please' meant, And in the USA they didn't know what 'the rest of the world' meant!!!

At 10/12/2007 7:40 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Sorry about the headline/title, I apologize profusely, "mea maxima culpa." It's now fixed.

The study mentions Europe, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, and makes the statement that "The data show that cancer patients live longer in the United States than anywhere else on the globe." Perhaps the assumption is that only the more advanced economies have widespread access to chemo and radiation therapies, etc.?

In any case, the most interesting comparison to me is between the U.S., and U.K and Canada, since Michael Moore glorified socialized medicine in those 2 countries in his movie "Sicko."

At 10/12/2007 8:24 AM, Blogger Ironman said...

Here's a different chart showing the breakdown of cancer survival rates between the U.S. and individual E.U. countries.

Oh, and as a bonus, here's a table showing natural life expectancy (the life expectancy data that we always hear about standardized to account for non-natural causes of death, such as homicides and motor vehicle accidents.)

At 10/12/2007 12:33 PM, Blogger happyjuggler0 said...

Thanks for the charts Ironman, especially the second one. Before one fixes problems, it really does help to make sure there is indeed a problem and that one isn't breaking something in an ignorant attempt to fix a nonexistent problem.

At 10/12/2007 6:35 PM, Blogger juandos said...

I too want to thank you ironman for those links...

Good stuff!

At 1/11/2008 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the record, Canadian women's survival rates are 62% for Women, and 58% for men.

At 8/03/2009 10:08 AM, Blogger Bob from district 9 said...

Now break it down by age. Our infant mortality rate is one of the worst. Are we saving our old and letting our children die?

I am over 60, looking at retirement, and looking at children and grand children who may not do as well as I have.

I am one of those willing to put my life on the line for my children, are you?

At 10/07/2009 8:31 PM, Blogger Anna said...

Ironman: your life expectancy chart is indeed from the CDC, but it does not include these facts:

Automobile and gun deaths are a VERY small percentage of deaths. Indeed, in 2006, those two causes resulted in about 5% of the number of deaths caused by only the top four diseases. That's counting ONLY the top four diseases, not counting other diseases and natural causes.

Automobile and gun deaths do not much affect life expectancy in the U.S.

Automobile deaths:
Gun deaths:
Deaths from top four diseases:

Also, how is "survival rate" defined? If the cancer survival rate in the U.S. is so high, why does it have a high cancer mortality rate (212/100K in 2006)?

Number of cancer deaths:

U.S. population in 2006:

Cancer mortality rate in other countries:

At 10/29/2009 7:05 AM, Blogger Peter O'Donnell said...

Think you should read the actual report, rather than a summary of the report - written I suspect with a conclusion in mind rather than objective analysis of the data.

Two main things that have been left out of your comments and the summary you based your comments: first, the survival rates for some cancers in the U.S. are excellent, but not for all. My country, Australia rates better than the U.S. for prostate and breast cancer for example. Second, the U.S. is a single country - with great variation in survival rates from state to state, there is great variation in rates within Europe, from country to country from heath system to heath system. The original study notes this and draws sensible conclusions from the data. You I'm afraid don't.

At 11/09/2009 10:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not actually current anymore.


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