ZAGREB, February 4, 2018 – Croatia has seen progress in cancer survival in the last 15 years, but is still below the European average, the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ) says, citing the findings of a recent study that covered 71 countries.
Among some 30 European countries for which data are available, Croatia is among five countries with the lowest five-year survival rates for cancers of the lungs (10%), prostate (81%), stomach (20%), colon (51%), rectum (48%) and myeloid leukaemias in adults (32%). Croatia is also in the lower half of the European rankings for five-year survival for breast cancer (79%), melanoma of the skin (77%) and cervical cancer (63%).
On the other hand, five-year survival rates are comparable with developed European countries for malignant diseases in children – lymphoma (95%), brain tumours (73%) and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (85%).
The study, published in The Lancet medical journal, analysed individual records for 37.5 million patients diagnosed with one of 18 cancers from 322 population-based registries in 71 countries. It included data for 220,000 patients from the HZJZ Cancer Register.
HZJZ Cancer Register manager Mario Šekerija said that the study could provide an additional impulse and information for targeted action to increase the cancer survival rates in Croatia. He noted that some progress had been made in the last 15 years, but expressed concern that Croatia was still lagging behind other European countries in terms of cancer survival.