Last night, my mother-in-law (hi Lillian) phoned with good news she had heard on the radio - if you have breast cancer, there isn't a better place in the world to be than British Columbia (my home province). On Tuesday, members of the BC Cancer Agency presented the news that was published the same day in the Lancet - when compared to five other regions (Australia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the UK), positive outcomes were highest for breast and ovarian cancer patients here in BC. News was also good for BC lung and colorectal cancer patients. The one-year survival rate for lung cancer patients jumped from 36.6% in 1995-99 to 43% in 2005-07, and for colorectal cancer patients it went from 59.8% to 64%.
The Globe and Mail discusses the report from a national perspective and the news is very good for all Canadians. The research examined survival rates for lung, breast, colorectal and ovarian cancer between 1995 and 2007 in these six countries whose common link is their universal health-care systems. The study found that survival rates have increased for all four cancers in all the countries during this time period, but the disparities indicate that there is a significant number of avoidable deaths.
One final note: as the year closes and some of us consider making donations to charitable foundations before 2011, could I ask you to consider groups working on childhood cancers. Many thanks.