No one ever wants to get cancer, but if you do get it, America is the place to get treated. As Sen. Ted Kennedy doubtless realizes, but will never admit, if he was in Canada both diagnosis and treatment would be slower and inferior, reducing his survival chances.
“Your accomplishment of [universal access] is the envy of every U.S. citizen who understands what you’ve done,” Sen. Edward Kennedy (D., Mass.) told a Canadian audience in 1996. This week, a major international study confirms that Mr. Kennedy is right to stay at home for his own cancer care: U.S. medicine bests the cancer treatment available to people in 30 other countries.
The Concord study compares five-year cancer survival rates for several malignancies: breast cancer in women; prostate cancer; colon and rectal cancer in women and men. Combining the efforts of some 100 researchers, drawing data from almost two million cancer patients in 31 countries, the study, to be published in the August issue of The Lancet, is groundbreaking.
Who’s on top? Arguably Cuba, which records the best overall outcomes for breast cancer and colorectal cancer (in women), and seems to beat U.S. health care in three out of the four categories. The study’s authors — who apparently hold higher standards than filmmaker Michael Moore — disregard these results owing to data quality issues.
The study finds that the U.S. leads in the field of breast and prostate cancer. France excelled in women’s colorectal cancer and Japan in men’s colorectal cancer. The news isn’t all good here: great discrepancies exist between white and African-Americans. That said, the United States clearly leads other nations in overall survival.
Remind me again why we are all supposed to want the government to take over America’s health care system.