New Zealand's pancreatic cancer survival rate below comparable countries - study

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The research has revealed some interesting results. Photo credit: Getty

A new study comparing the cancer survival rates of seven countries has ranked New Zealand close to the bottom.

The study, published in The Lancet Oncology journal on Wednesday, analysed 3.9 million cancer cases from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Denmark, the UK, Ireland and Norway. 

It compared the one-year and five-year survival rates for bowel, oesophageal, pancreatic, stomach, rectum, lung and ovarian cancer from 1995 to 2014.

The study found that survival rates had improved at both the one-year and five-year marks in each country across almost all cancer types. 

Yet according to the research, a pancreatic cancer diagnosis in New Zealand carries the lowest chance of survival after one year.

Only 15.5 percent of patients diagnosed with lung cancer between 2010-2014 in New Zealand survived for five years after diagnosis.

Although New Zealand's survival rates had improved the most for rectal cancer, the percentage was still the lowest among the seven countries.

Australia had the highest five-year survival rate across the board, topping the charts for five of the different cancers. According to the research, Australians diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer have a 70.8 percent chance of surviving for five years after diagnosis. 

The chief executive of Cancer Council Australia, Professor Sanchia Aranda, told The Guardian Australia's higher survival rates could be attributed to the country's management of referral and screening services - contributing to earlier detection.

Canada and Norway followed Australia for the highest one-year survival rates. 

The UK had the lowest one-year survival rate for colon, lung, rectal and stomach cancer. 

The Cancer Society says the study offers proof of New Zealand's need for a well-funded cancer plan.

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