Sunday, August 26, 2007

Cancer Survival Rates in the US and Europe

Remember all the fuss about Americans living longer but the world is passing it by? Well, if one has cancer than America is the place to be. A recently released study shows the United States leads in cancer survival rates while Europe lags behind.

The rates go along these lines:
Men
  • First: US 66.3% survival past five years
  • Second: Sweden 60.3%
  • Last: Slovenia 36.6%

Women
  • First: US 62.9%
  • Second: Iceland 61.8%
  • Last: Scotland 48%

Is socialized medicine good for general ills but performs poorly in life and death situations? Or is it something cultural? Something else? The debate rages on.

5 comments:

Andy said...

I read the article and the words "after diagnosis" kept popping up. In countries with national health programs, a much larger proportion of the population manages to get diagnosis and treatment than here in the US where at least 40 million+ are not insured, without access to treatment, nevermind diagnosis.

So these statistics are misleading - we have a marginally higher success rate of treatment, but as a percentage of the total population when you include the vast amounts of people who don't get diagnosis and treatment here, compared to other places, a realistic measure would most likely show us lagging the other industrialized countries if you count "total population".

Catholicgauze said...

But remember what would be the opposite of "diagnosed". Its hard to measure what is not there.

I think either way it is hard to deny that the US quality of care is on the top level.

Andy said...

wow - what an answer. Are you really saying that all those people who aren't in the system but who still get cancer and die from it really aren't there? The European statistics include basically their entire population - our statistics are cherry-picked from the wealthiest (and presumably healthiest) portion of the population who can afford regular health care. As a comparison basis, our statistics are meaningless.

If millions are people are denied access to care, so therefore their numbers are not included and some pretend that therefore they just don't exist, it is quite difficult to say that our quality of care is "on the top level" and certainly not something to crow about about how we're "better" than everyone else.

Anonymous said...

There may be a few people in the U.S. who actually die from cancer without ever being diagnosed. But _most_ of the uninsured do eventually get healthcare -- it's called the emergency room. And it's extremely inefficient.

How about a system where everyone gets a basic (mandatory) level of healthcare and then individuals have the _choice_ of adding more coverage depending on their personal preference?

Imagine how much better off the U.S. would be if we could move basic healthcare for the uninsured from the emergency room to the primary care physician's office while maintaining our innovative and inventive atmosphere?

Anonymous said...

The U.S. health care system is definitely one of the best in the world compared to most other countries. But it is nowhere near to the level it should be considering how advanced the U.S. is in many other issues.

The health care in the U.S. is really excellent to the people that have a good insurance scheme. Approximately 50 million are uninsured and several million more are underinsured. Most college students who go through a school insurance system, small business owners, part time employees, etc. are a few examples of the underinsured.

Socialized health care has its faults such as long waiting lines, etc. However, everyone gets the most basic type of health care. That does not exist in the U.S. After that, anyone, whether in a socialized health care system or a U.S. type system can pay and get additional health care.

Overall in my judgement, the health care system in the U.S. is pretty bad for a vast group of people and that should be completely unacceptable. I think the best option is a mixture of both systems where people can still pay and get good health care while basic health care will be universal.

I for one cannot get much needed surgery since its way too expensive as a student. I'm waiting to get a good job so my insurance covers my 'pre existing condition' What a joke!

Please talk to a few health Geographers and you will really hear their displeasure at the wonderful U.S. health care system.