(HealthDay News) — Worldwide, survival trends for cancer are generally increasing, although there is considerable global variation in survival rates, according to a study published online in The Lancet.

Claudia Allemani, PhD, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in London, and colleagues examined worldwide cancer survival using data from CONCORD-3, which includes individual records for 37.5 million patients diagnosed with cancer during 2000 to 2014. Data were obtained from 322 population-based cancer registries in 71 countries or territories and included 18 cancers or groups of cancers.

The researchers found that estimated 5-year net survival remained among the highest in the world in the United States and Canada; Australia and New Zealand; and Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden for most cancers. Denmark was closing the survival gap with other Nordic countries for many cancers. Trends in survival are generally increasing, even for some more lethal cancers, with an increase of up to 5% for cancers of the liver, pancreas, and lung in some countries. The 5-year survival for breast cancer for women diagnosed from 2010 to 2014 was 89.5 and 90.2% in Australia and the United States, respectively, although international differences persist (low of 66.1% in India).

“Governments must recognize population-based cancer registries as key policy tools that can be used to evaluate both the impact of cancer prevention strategies and the effectiveness of health systems,” the authors write.

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Allemani C, Matsuda T, Di Carlo V, et al. Global surveillance of trends in cancer survival 2000–14 (CONCORD-3): analysis of individual records for 37 513 025 patients diagnosed with one of 18 cancers from 322 population-based registries in 71 countries. Lancet. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(17)33326-3
Sullivan R. Achieving better cancer intelligence for global cancer control. Lancet. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)30155-7