If you have been diagnosed with cancer, you may want to check your surroundings, because apparently where you live has an effect on your chances of survival.
It's fairly well known that poorer people and minorities have a lower survival rate of diseases like cancer due to lack of health care and at times, a lack of awareness of a good health care regime. A late diagnosis is especially to blame. I think we all know someone who is hesitant to see a doctor due to costs and waits until his or her symptoms are serious before getting care.
The CONCORD study, published this week in The Lancet Oncology, showed that different areas of the world - and inside the United States - produce different survival rates. The U.S. placed very well in certain areas.
The study's lead researcher, Michel Coleman, saw that "the United States has the highest rates of survival for breast and prostate cancers, while Japan has the highest survival rates for colon and rectal cancers among men. France has the highest survival rates for colon and rectal cancer among women, the report found.
In addition, Canada and Australia also have very high survival rates for most cancers. The lowest rate of survival among both men and women was seen in Algeria.
In the United States, the lowest survival rates are in New York City, except for rectal cancer in women, where Wyoming scores worse. The best survival rate for cancer in the United States is in Hawaii, the researchers found.
Idaho also has a high survival rate for rectal cancer, and Seattle has the highest survival rate for prostate cancer.
But, there's a big disparity in cancer survival rates between whites and blacks in the United States, and it favors whites. The differences range from 7 percent for prostate cancer to 14 percent for breast cancer. This disparity is most likely due to differences in the stage of cancer when it is diagnosed, the researchers said.
There's also a significant difference in cancer survival rates between the United States and Europe, with survival rates 10 percent and 34 percent higher in the United States for breast cancer and prostate cancer, respectively, the study found.
In Europe, France has the highest survival rate for rectal and colon cancers. Sweden has the highest survival rate for breast cancer, and Austria has the highest survival rate for prostate cancer.
The worst performing European countries are Poland and Slovakia.
Coleman said he hopes that political leaders will use the findings to provide better cancer diagnosis and treatment."
Early diagnosis is crucial. Cancer is not an automatic death sentence and even 'routine' tests can find cancer, even when a person is symptom free and feeling well. Making health care an absolute priority is vital- something we all need to remember when selecting health insurance plans, doctors, jobs, places to live, and who we elect to government, both locally and nationally.
All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.