Researchers at the Centre for Family Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm followed the cases of three million people.
The chance of surviving 20 different forms of cancer was 40 percent higher for well-educated people than for people with lower levels of education. In breast cancer cases, the average highly educated patient was 32 percent more likely to survive than a poorly educated person.
One possible explanation for the difference in survival rates was that cancer was diagnosed at an earlier stage in better educated people, the researchers said. They added that it was likely to be investigated more quickly and well-educated patients were more likely to follow the course of treatment properly.