What is the impact of different treatments and imaging examinations on cancer survival?

With the development of medical research, we have more “weapons” in the face of cancer. The development of cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment technology and treatment has a significant impact on survival, and they complement each other. For example, imaging examination can help to determine the stage of cancer, make treatment plan, and timely evaluate the treatment effect. So, in the whole process of diagnosis and treatment, which links can improve the survival rate better?

recently, a model study led by researchers from the school of public health of Harvard University was published to assess the impact of the popularization and application of different therapies and imaging examinations on cancer survival rate in different countries and regions of the world.

the research data covered 200 countries and regions, involving 11 types of cancer, including esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, anal cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer and prostate cancer, accounting for 60% of all newly diagnosed cancer cases in the world in 2018.

the team first evaluated the current survival rate. Under the existing diagnosis and treatment conditions, the global 5-year net survival rate of these 11 cancers is expected to be 42.6%. From the global average level, the 5-year survival rate of colorectal cancer, anal cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer is more than 50%. In the middle and high-income areas, the 5-year survival rate of cervical cancer is more than 60%. The 5-year survival rate in northern Europe, Australia and New Zealand is relatively the highest, followed by North America and other regions of Europe. For low-income areas, the survival rate is not high even on cancer species with good global average prognosis.

in low-income areas, most of the cancers were advanced at the time of diagnosis, with 58.5% in middle and high-income areas and 44.3% in high-income areas. However, even taking into account the difference in diagnosis, the 5-year net survival rate in high-income areas is much higher, reaching 10-17 times that in low-income areas in stage I – III cancer.

in the part of treatment intervention, for low-income areas, improving the quality of care will maximize the survival rate, followed by the further popularization of surgery and radiotherapy; increasing the accessibility of surgery will bring the greatest survival benefits for low-income areas, followed by radiotherapy; and in high-income and middle-income areas, the increase of targeted treatment application is the most important to improve the survival rate 。

investment in imaging is also essential for survival rate growth. For low-income areas, the popularization of ultrasound application will maximize the survival rate; for middle and high-income areas, the improvement of MRI, pet and CT is the most important; for high-income countries, the development of pet, CT and SPECT should be the most important.

} in China, the accessibility of different treatments and imaging examinations.

generally speaking, it is more important to increase the accessibility of basic treatment methods for low and middle income areas; in middle and high-income areas, popularizing the application of Frontier imaging examination can bring more survival benefits.

However, it should be noted that the improvement of the accessibility of any single treatment or imaging means has limited contribution to the improvement of survival rate. It is not difficult to understand that the impact of comprehensive development will be more profound. For example, in low-income areas, improving access to treatment and imaging and improving the quality of care can increase the 5-year net survival rate by more than 10 times. In low-income countries, multi pronged approach can also double the 5-year net survival rate.

} to improve the quality of care, improve the accessibility of treatment and imaging examination, and affect the 5-year net survival rate in different income level areas.

However, even with increased access across the board, there is still a gap in survival rates in other regions compared with high-income areas. This may be due to the fact that diagnosis is generally later and that some types of cancer with poorer prognosis are more common in low-income countries, the team noted.

the research team concluded, “the results of the model study show that the differences in cancer survival rate in different regions are largely due to the differences in the popularity and quality of treatment methods and imaging methods, and are also related to the characteristics of cancer incidence in different regions.” It is hoped that with the development of new and better medical interventions, as well as the popularization and application of existing means, more patients can realize the dream of turning cancer into chronic disease.

Note: the purpose of this paper is to introduce the progress of medical and health research, not to recommend treatment options. For guidance on treatment plan, please go to a regular hospital. After taking X-ray to discover pregnancy, can the child still want it? The doctor told you so