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Title: Trends in long-term cancer survival in Singapore: 1968-2002
Authors: Lim, G.-H.
Wong, C.-S. 
Chow, K.-Y.
Bhalla, V.
Chia, K.-S. 
Keywords: Carcinoma
Period analysis
Public Health
Relative survival
Issue Date: Feb-2009
Citation: Lim, G.-H.,Wong, C.-S.,Chow, K.-Y.,Bhalla, V.,Chia, K.-S. (2009-02). Trends in long-term cancer survival in Singapore: 1968-2002. Annals of the Academy of Medicine Singapore 38 (2) : 99-105. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Introduction: The life expectancy of cancer patients has increased in recent decades due to better diagnostic and screening tools as well as better treatment modalities. Hence, it becomes increasingly important to study trends in long-term cancer patient survival in order to document that medical progress has conveyed benefit at the population level. In this paper, we assessed the long-term survival experience of all incident cancer patients in Singapore. Materials and Methods: The study population consisted of patients diagnosed with single primary invasive cancer from 1 January 1968 to 31 December 2002, and passively followed up to 31 December 2005. The data was derived from the Singapore Cancer Registry, which has been in existence since 1968. Relative survival via the period approach was used to provide a more up-to-date estimate by looking at recent cohorts of patients. Sex- and stage-specific survival was compared for each cancer. Results: The overall age-standardised 10-year relative survival ratios for the calendar years of 1998 to 2002 were 30.5% in males and 44.2% in females. A steady improvement in overall long-term cancer survival was observed over the study period. This upward trend in survival was observed in localised tumours and cancers with a favourable prognosis such as breast, cervical and colorectal cancers. In contrast, survival of cancers with poor prognosis such as lung, liver and pancreas remained low. Conclusions: Although factors such as changes in diagnostic criteria could influence the trend in survival, we believed that the improvement in survival predominantly reflected real progress in cancer control in Singapore.
Source Title: Annals of the Academy of Medicine Singapore
ISSN: 03044602
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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