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New data on cancer survival in Europe show more patients are cured
Date:3/23/2009

ases like cardiovascular disease and cancer. Age-adjusted five-year relative survival was higher in women than men for 21 out of 26 types of cancer for which survival was estimated in both sexes. Particularly marked differences were found for cancers of the head and neck, bone, thyroid and stomach, and for melanoma of the skin. Women had significantly lower survival only for cancers of the biliary tract, bladder and larynx. For all cancers combined, and after adjustment for age and for the different patterns of cancer in each sex, women had a two per cent overall advantage in five-year survival (52% vs. 50%). The survival advantage for women younger than 64 was four per cent; this difference decreased with increasing age, becoming negligible in the elderly.

"This suggests that sex hormone patterns may play a role in the consistently higher survival seen for women," said Dr Capocaccia.

In children, adolescents and young adults, five-year survival for all cancers combined was 81% in children (0-14 years) and 87% in adolescents and young adults (15-24 years). From 1995-1999 to 2000-2002, the risk of death within five years of diagnosis fell significantly for young patients, by 8% in children and 13% in adolescents and young adults. International differences in survival also narrowed for children and young adults. Survival improved over time for all the main cancer types affecting the young. The improvement was statistically significant for acute lymphoid leukaemia and central nervous system tumours in children and for non-Hodgkin lymphoma in adolescents and young adults.

"Cancer survival in patients aged less than 25 years is poorly documented in Eastern European countries. Complete cancer registration should be a priority for these countries, as an essential part of a policy for effective cancer control in Europe," said Dr Capocaccia.

Professor Alexander M.M. Eggermont, president of ECCO the European CanCer Organisation, welcomed
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
44-771-129-6986
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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