Pancreatic cancer lowest one-year survival rate in NZ

One-year survival rates for stomach rectal pancreatic lung and ovarian cancers are all below the national average new figures show

One-year survival rates for stomach rectal pancreatic lung and ovarian cancers are all below the national average new figures show

It said survival improved at both the one-year and five-year marks in each country across nearly all cancer types.

Streamlining data collection and bringing consistency to coding practices will make it easier to draw comparisons at an worldwide level, providing more opportunities to identify and share good practices that can improve the outcomes for patients with cancer around the world.

Survival rates for seven different cancers - oesophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, pancreas, lung and ovary - had improved during the 20-year period, but the level and pace of improvement varied by country and cancer type.

Additionally, one-year survival for lung, ovarian and oesophageal cancer all increased by around 15 percentage points in the last 20 years.

New Zealand improved most on rectal cancer, but this was still the lowest improvement among the seven countries.

"The improvements in cancer survival observed are likely a direct effect of healthcare reforms and technological advances that enable earlier diagnosis, more effective and tailored treatment and better patient management", lead author Melina Arnold said in a statement.

The analysis, conducted by the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership - which is managed by Cancer Research UK, is the first international study to look at changes in cancer survival alongside incidence and mortality for all seven cancer sites.

"For lung, ovarian and oesophageal cancer in particular, survival has increased largely because the quality of surgery has radically improved, and more surgery is taking place than before". Depending on the country, 48-59% of all patients with rectal cancer diagnosed in 1995-1999 survived for 5 years after diagnosis; this proportion rose to 62-71% for patients diagnosed in 2010-2014.

The results come before the development of WA's new cancer plan.

"This new study shows that not only are we behind our comparator countries, progress has stalled and similar countries are accelerating ahead of us". However, cancer programmes needed a redesign and funding to achieve this.

Currow said: "This means increasing the numbers of people who are having their cancer detected earlier, ensuring that they are referred to a multi-disciplinary cancer care team and ensuring that if surgery is appropriate, they receive it in a hospital performing the procedure regularly".

This is the first worldwide study to look at changes in cancer survival alongside incidence and mortality for cancers of the oesophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, pancreas, lung and ovary.

She added: "Cancer Research UK has been calling for staff shortages to be addressed because, quite simply, it will give people a better chance of surviving their cancer. It's never been a more crucial time for the government to put new money where it matters".

The study's authors noted that the research was observational and that cancer data can be collected differently for different cancer registries, which could impact results.

Australia, Norway and Canada generally had better survival rates than New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland and the UK.

1-year net survival changes.

Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK's director of early diagnosis, said: "More people than ever before are surviving cancer thanks to research and targeted improvements in care".

Over the 19 years, larger survival improvements were seen for patients under 75 at diagnosis than those over that age.

The trajectory over the two decades shows the United Kingdom improving but failing to catch other countries that are also improving.

The new research was carried out by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a World Health Organization agency.