Swedes better than Brits at beating cancer: study

Author thumbnail
Swedes better than Brits at beating cancer: study

Swedes have a better chance of surviving cancer than Britons, according to a new study examining the connection between cancer survival rates and one's willingness to visit a doctor.


Researchers have puzzled over why the UK has lower cancer survival rate in comparison to other countries with more or less free access to healthcare and well-developed cancer treatments.

While Swedes diagnosed with lung cancer between 2005 and 2007 had a 44 percent chance of surviving at least one year, Britons only had a 30 percent one-year survival rate.

In an attempt to uncover what may lie behind the cancer survival discrepancy, researchers in the UK compared knowledge about and attitudes toward cancer among 30,000 men and women over 50 in Britain, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

The results indicate that Briton's famed "stiff upper lip" in the face of adversity may not be the best strategy for surviving cancer.

Swedes, on the other hand, seem to benefit from their willingness to see the doctor at the first sign of illness.

While knowledge of cancer symptoms was roughly the same across all the countries, researchers found differences in when people decide to visit a doctor.

The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, revealed that 34 percent of Britons who experienced minor symptoms were worried about taking up their doctors' time unnecessarily, while only 9 percent of Swedes experienced similar reservations about booking an appointment.

Researchers also found differences in the awareness of cancer risks. Only 13 percent of Canadians and 14 percent of Britons were aware of such risks, compared to 38 percent among Swedes.

TT/The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also