Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world. In the United States, it consistently ranks as the second leading cause of death, second only to heart disease. Cancer is caused by abnormal cells that divide and break down body tissue. The disease can affect any part of the body and can also spread to other body parts. Treatments such as chemotherapy can cause cancer to go into remission. Unfortunately, these treatments are typically expensive and frequently unavailable in some nations. Moreover, treatment does not guarantee that a patient's cancer will go into remission.
The CONCORD-3 report looked at 37.5 million records of cancer patients from 71 countries and territories. The study looked at 18 different types of cancers in adults and children to determine which countries' residents had the highest five-year survival rates. Based on this data, the highest survival rates were found in the following nations:
Some nations not on the list of overall highest survival rates ranked high when looking at specific types of cancer. For example, nations in Southeast Asia, including Japan and South Korea, had the highest survival rates for gastrointestinal cancers. However, this same region had much lower survival rates for other types of cancers, including melanoma. One point frequently made in reports of this nature is the importance of early detection. The survivability of cancer is very closely tied to discovering the disease at an early stage. The longer a cancer is able to grow untreated, the lower the patient's chance of survival becomes.