RESEARCH – March 2005

Survival of cancer patients in Estonia and in other European countries (the EUROCARE-3 Project)


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The EUROCARE-3 project provided population-based, comparative survival statistics for cancer in Europe at the end of the 20th century. Sixty-seven cancer registries from 22 European countries participated in the study, and about two million cancer cases diagnosed in 1990–1994 were included in analysis. Patients’ survival varied widely regarding cancer site: five-year relative survival rate ranged from 4% (pancreas) to 94% (lip). For the majority of cancers, female patients had higher survival rates than male patients.

Younger patients generally experienced higher relative survival than older patients. Survival rates improved considerably in the 1990s in comparison with the 1980s, however, differences remained significant on the European scale. The rates for Estonia and for the other countries of Eastern Europe were markedly below European average rates.