Canada one of top countries in cancer survival

In a recent study published in The Lancet, Canada places highly compared to top countries such as the United Kingdom, Denmark and Norway in survival rates for lung, breast, colorectal and ovarian cancers. The study was an initiative of the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP), an international partnership of clinicians, academics and policymakers seeking to understand how and why cancer survival varies between countries. The ICBP study analyzed survival rates for four cancers - lung, breast, colorectal and ovarian - in six developed countries.

Based on the voluntary participation of four Canadian provinces - British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario - the study data show that Canada's survival rates for these select cancers are among the highest, along with Australia and Sweden in the study. The study is based on population data for 2.4 million adults diagnosed with colorectal, lung, breast or ovarian cancer between 1995 and 2007. The six countries were chosen based on their comparable wealth, universal access to healthcare and the nature of cancer data available.

"Overall, Canada is performing well internationally when it comes to cancer survival - and the survival rates for all participating countries show improvement over time. Canada will continue to contribute and learn from international data as this study continues, while also working within our own borders to reduce cancer's significant burden on our population, our health system and our economy: 174,000 cancer diagnoses and 76,000 cancer deaths every year is still very high." -- Dr. Heather Bryant, Vice-President of Cancer Control at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer works with provincial cancer agencies in developing a national cancer strategy to bring a coordinated approach to reducing the impact of cancer on Canadians. Many other nations that are successful in dealing with cancer have such a national strategy.
"The provinces in this study have organized approaches and systems to provide their citizens with world-class cancer care. Having both an interprovincial context and international comparisons allows us to understand our strengths and gaps, and to focus our improvement efforts. The international benchmarking findings are heartening for Canada, and a reminder to continue to strive for optimal care." -- Dr. Terry Sullivan, President and CEO of Cancer Care Ontario.
Canada's national cancer control strategy was funded by the federal government in 2006, and the Partnership opened its doors in 2007 to begin implementing it. Working with partners across the country - many of whom were instrumental in developing the cancer strategy - the Partnership is helping to improve the consistency and coordination of the cancer system across Canada's 10 provinces and three territories.

Source: Canadian News Wire

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