The McGowan Government has welcomed new research findings that show survival rates for Western Australian cancer patients are among the best in the developed world.
The findings published this week in The Lancet Oncology revealed WA cancer patients were faring better than their counterparts in other high-income countries with comparable healthcare systems and high-quality cancer registries.
The research was gathered as part of an international cancer collaboration which is collating data on seven types of cancer from 19 jurisdictions across seven countries, including three Australian jurisdictions – WA, New South Wales and Victoria.
Overall Western Australia was the best performing of the Australian jurisdictions, with the highest five-year survival rates for ovarian, colon, pancreatic and stomach cancer.
Australia was found to have outperformed all countries in five-year survival rates for five of the seven tracked cancers (oesophageal, stomach, colon, rectal and pancreatic) and come second only to Canada and Norway for lung and ovarian cancers respectively.
The data is being used to track outcomes across the participating jurisdictions to try to identify factors that influence patient survival.
Latest analysis of the data shows that overall cancer survival had increased in all seven of the participating nations in the 20 years to 2014 but that survival was consistently highest in Australia.
The researchers will explore a range of possible reasons for the variation between jurisdictions including access to diagnostic tests and optimal treatments, cancer patient pathways, and the organisation and structure of health systems.
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“WA cancer patients can take great encouragement from these results which are a testimony to our State’s excellent standards of healthcare, and to the many dedicated health professionals working in the cancer field.
“The McGowan Government is committed to putting patients first and these results show that plan is working. Cancer is often a traumatic and painful journey for patients and their loved ones, so these results are good news for all Western Australians.
“The results come ahead of the development of the State’s new cancer plan which will, for the first time, also incorporate a plan for cancer research in Western Australia.”