Thursday, 14 August 2008

Comparison of cancer treatment efficiency in Europe and the USA

Results of a European study [1] comparing 5-year observed survival of 46 types of cancer, in patients diagnosed within the timespan of 1990-1994, in five age groups in selected European countries have been compiled with data extracted from USA SEER Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results database [2][3], concerning patients diagnosed at the same time, observed in the same period and suffering from same types of cancer.

Eurocare 3 [1] findings have already been published in details [4], analyzed and widely discussed [5]. Still though, in my opinion, not all survival and treatment efficiency aspects of the study have found their way to audience understood as widely as Internet users community and those which have, aren't as easily readable as they could be. Therefore, presenting more comprehensive insight strictly into study results as well as comparing them with observed results in the USA are the purposes of this article. These were implemented by visualizing survival data for a Cartesian product of all cancer types, countries, survival periods and age groups available in the study.

While there are numerous factors influencing cancer survival, results of the study provide some judgment about performance and effectiveness of medical care systems in countries investigated.

Age groups differentiated in the study are: 15-44 years, 45-54 years, 55-64 years, 65-74 years, 75-99 years.

Survival periods are 1-year to 5-year, with a yearly step.

Countries displayed are: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA and Wales. Additionally, country-weighted (in terms of countries populations) European averages have been presented.

Before viewing the charts, please have a look at pictures explaining how to read them.

Types of cancer discussed in this article:

All Cancers
Biliary tract cancer
Bladder cancer
Bone cancer
Brain cancer
Breast cancer
Cervical (cervix uteri) cancer
Choroid cancer
Chronic lymphocytic (lymphoid) leukemia
Chronic myelogenous (myeloid) leukemia
Colon cancer
Colon & Rectum (colorectal) cancer
Corpus uteri (uterine) cancer
Head & Neck
Hodgkin's disease (Hodgkin's lymphoma)
Hypopharynx cancer
Kidney cancer
Larynx (laryngeal) cancer
Lip (oral) cancer
Liver cancer
Lung cancer
Melanoma skin cancer
Multiple myeloma
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Nasal cavities cancer
Nasopharynx (nasopharyngeal) cancer
Oesophagus (oesophageal) cancer
Oral cavity cancer
Oropharynx (oropharyngeal) cancer
Ovary (ovarian) cancer
Pancreas (pancreatic) cancer
Penis (penile) cancer
Pleura (pleural) cancer
Prostate cancer
Rectum (rectal) cancer
Salivary glands cancer
Small intestine cancer
Soft tissues cancer
Stomach cancer
Testis (testicular) cancer
Thyroid gland cancer
Tongue cancer
Vagina (vaginal) and vulva (vulvar) cancer

[2] Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program ( SEER*Stat Database: Incidence - SEER 17 Regs Limited-Use + Hurricane Katrina Impacted Louisiana Cases, Nov 2007 Sub (1973-2005 varying) - Linked To County Attributes - Total U.S., 1969-2005 Counties, National Cancer Institute, DCCPS, Surveillance Research Program, Cancer Statistics Branch, released April 2008, based on the November 2007 submission.

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