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Easy Access To Healthcare Services Essential For Better Survival Rates

Cancer survival rates have bettered among the teenagers and young adults (TYAs) in countries where people can have easy access to healthcare services// than in those where people have to pay for their own medical insurance

It has been found that Australia's system of health insurance for all, regardless of age, meant that TYAs were more likely to survive cancer in Australia than they were in the USA.

Prof Bleyer, who is medical advisor at the Cancer Treatment Center, St Charles Medical Center, Bend, Oregon, said: "However, both countries have a lower survival rate for their TYAs than for their younger and older patients, proving that TYAs remain the most neglected group of cancer patients across the globe.

"Our previous research has shown that the survival of older teenagers and young adults with cancer in the United States has lagged behind progress in younger and older patients. We found that diagnosis was delayed in TYAs who either lacked health insurance or had inadequate insurance, and therefore this lack of progress might be due to the USA health care system and less expected in countries with national health insurance.

"During the past year we have compared survival of TYAs in the USA with those in Australia, a country similar in many demographics to the USA, but with health insurance provided to all citizens regardless of age.

"From 1982 to 1998, the rate of improvement in the five-year survival from invasive cancer in Australia exceeded that which occurred in the USA, such that by the late 1990s, TYAs in Australia had an overall five-year cancer survival that was higher than in the USA. The deficit begins at 16 and ends at 55, the same years that national health insurance is not available in the USA. It ranges from 5% for 18 to 25 year-olds to 12% for those aged 30 to 35. This difference suggests that the health care system in Australia, with universal health insurance, was able to provide better cancer c
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