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Original research
Colon and rectal cancer survival in seven high-income countries 2010–2014: variation by age and stage at diagnosis (the ICBP SURVMARK-2 project)


Objectives As part of the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP) SURVMARK-2 project, we provide the most recent estimates of colon and rectal cancer survival in seven high-income countries by age and stage at diagnosis.

Methods Data from 386 870 patients diagnosed during 2010–2014 from 19 cancer registries in seven countries (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and the UK) were analysed. 1-year and 5-year net survival from colon and rectal cancer were estimated by stage at diagnosis, age and country,

Results (One1-year) and 5-year net survival varied between (77.1% and 87.5%) 59.1% and 70.9% and (84.8% and 90.0%) 61.6% and 70.9% for colon and rectal cancer, respectively. Survival was consistently higher in Australia, Canada and Norway, with smaller proportions of patients with metastatic disease in Canada and Australia. International differences in (1-year) and 5-year survival were most pronounced for regional and distant colon cancer ranging between (86.0% and 94.1%) 62.5% and 77.5% and (40.7% and 56.4%) 8.0% and 17.3%, respectively. Similar patterns were observed for rectal cancer. Stage distribution of colon and rectal cancers by age varied across countries with marked survival differences for patients with metastatic disease and diagnosed at older ages (irrespective of stage).

Conclusions Survival disparities for colon and rectal cancer across high-income countries are likely explained by earlier diagnosis in some countries and differences in treatment for regional and distant disease, as well as older age at diagnosis. Differences in cancer registration practice and different staging systems across countries may have impacted the comparisons.

  • surveillance
  • colorectal cancer

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