BACKGROUND: The EUROCARE study has disclosed large variations of survival across Europe, with the magnitude varying, depending on cancer site. Comparisons of these rates with those from the developing countries are rare, but important in evaluating international cancer care discrepancies. This study aimed to provide up-to-date estimates of cancer survival in a Philippine urban population, and to compare these with those observed in the European countries.
METHODS: Using the results from the EUROCARE-4 study, the survival estimates of the European patients who were diagnosed in 1995-99 and followed till December 2003 were abstracted. From randomly selected samples drawn from the Manila and Rizal Cancer Registries, 5-year survival was estimated for nine common cancers. Age-adjusted survival estimates were then compared between the Philippine population and Europeans.
RESULTS: In comparison to the European mean, survival estimates for the Philippine residents were lower for most cancers, with differences ranging from 2 to 40% units. Differences with European country-specific estimates were large for cancers of the breast and cervix, where early detection is possible, and for leukaemia, where treatment regimens are costly, highlighting the importance of health care. Smaller discrepancies were observed for stomach, liver and lung cancers, with the 5-year relative survival being similar to the Philippines and to many European countries. A survival advantage was seen though for the Philippine residents for ovarian cancer.
CONCLUSION: Apart from efforts to prevent cancers, improvements in cancer control and making early diagnosis and treatment more accessible remain major challenges, both in the Philippines and in the European nations.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published