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Chronic diseases hinder good cancer survival rates
Date:11/15/2013

rlooked, though there has been greater awareness following the publication of specific figures on the problem 10 years ago.

"It has long been the case that cancer doctors are concerned with cancer, arthritis doctors with arthritis and so on. But increasing attention is being paid to the significance of the patients having other diseases," he says.

Many patients have other diseases

It is estimated that around 40 percent of all Danish cancer patients have one or more other diseases with which they have been hospitalised. 30 percent have one or two other diseases, while 10 percent have three or more diseases. This appears from a systematic literature review (SLR) of all of the studies of comorbidity and breast, lung and colon cancer that have been carried out in Denmark and abroad over the past decade. The study is financed by the Danish Cancer Society and has just been published in the journal Clinical Epidemiology, along with the new figures.

That so many also have other diseases is due not only to age but also unhealthy lifestyles. According to Henrik Toft Srensen, part of the explanation of the poor survival rate can also be found here. Smoking, alcohol and being overweight simply give a poorer rate of survival. After these factors, what means something here is the treatment. Among other things because patients with other diseases have a greatly increased risk of complications, but also because there is a risk of them receiving either too much or too little treatment.

Lack of knowledge about the proper treatment

Whether it is the cancer that the patients die of is unclear, explains PhD Mette Sgaard, Clinical Epidemiological Department, Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital, who are behind the literature review.

"It is not clear what the patients die of - whether it is the cancer or the other diseases. However, we can see that it is neither due to the fact that they have a more agg
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Contact: Henrik Toft Sørensen
hts@dce.au.dk
45-87-16-82-15
Aarhus University
Source:Eurekalert

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