Young Kiwi cancer sufferers dying at much higher rate than those overseas - study

A new study has found the survival rates of young New Zealanders suffering from cancer are falling well short of international survival rates.

Many more young New Zealanders are dying than their counterparts in Australia and the UK.

The recent study published in the New Zealand Medical Journal has found our youth cancer survival rates are dramatically lower than overseas. 

For those aged between 15 and 29 years old, the five-year survival rate for bone tumour patients is just 46 per cent, 20 per cent lower than in Australia. 

And breast cancer cases are not much better, with just 64 per cent survival compared to 80 per cent in the United States and Germany. 

"The two things we feel are important, are delayed diagnosis - GPs don't think of the diagnosis of cancer when they see someone in their twenties - and secondly the lack of the clinical trials that are offered to these patients," said Dr Ruth Spearing, the study's co-author.

"Obviously a diagnosis of cancer for anybody is horrendous. But for somebody who is at that adolescent stage it really is very, very stressful," she said. 

Dr Spearing says access to cutting edge international treatments is crucial. 

"We need to work with the ministry to see how it can be easier for DHBs to take part in clinical trials," she said.

Many more NZ youngsters are dying than in Australia and the UK, a new study has found. Source: 1 NEWS

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