When it comes to cancer, where you live can make a big difference post-diagnosis. A new study published by the CONCORD program on cancer survival in The Lancet compares five-year cancer survival rates (a figure researchers often use to assess the effectiveness of treatment) in 71 countries, NPR reports.
The records, collected from 2010 to 2014, come from global registries that track cancer diagnosis rates and deaths from cancer. Their overall findings showed a major improvement in cancer survival rates around the world, but vast disparities persist. Researchers said progress was particularly concentrated in high-income nations and less so in low-income, or so-called developing nations.
For example, the study showed that childhood cancers in upper-income countries, including the United States and many nations in Europe, were treated so successfully that the five-year survival rate often reached upward of 90 percent. However, in some middle-income countries, such as China, Mexico
The new research also turned up some surprising findings. For instance, some countries in Asia appear to be doing a much better job
Researchers also found that middle-income countries can be as effective in treating cancer as some high-income countries, despite fewer resources. Costa Rica, for example, is one of a few countries that have a five-year cancer survival rate (or higher), joining the United States, Canada
Moving forward, researchers say governments around the world should continue to drive progress by prioritizing screenings, providing more supportive care for those diagnosed with cancer and keeping better track of their cancer research data.