Cancer survival in adult patients in Spain. Results from nine population-based cancer registries

REDECAN Working Group

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INTRODUCTION: With the aim of providing cancer control indicators, this work presents cancer survival in adult (≥15 years) patients in Spain diagnosed during the period 2000-2007 from Spanish cancer registries participating in the EUROCARE project.

METHODS: Cancer cases from nine Spanish population-based cancer registries were included and analysed as a whole. All primary malignant neoplasms diagnosed in adult patients were eligible for the analysis. Cancer patients were followed until 31 December 2008. For each type of cancer, 1-, 3- and 5-year observed and relative survival were estimated by sex, age and years from diagnosis. Furthermore, age-standardized 5-year relative survival for the period 2000-2007 has been compared with that of the period 1995-1999.

RESULTS: Skin melanoma (84.6 95% CI 83.0-86.2), prostate (84.6% 95% CI 83.6-85.6) and thyroid (84.2% CI 95% 82.0-86.6) cancers showed the highest 5-year relative survival, whereas the worst prognosis was observed in pancreatic (6% 95% CI 5.1-7.0) and oesophageal (9.4% 95% CI 7.9-11.1) cancers. Overall, survival is higher in women (58.0%) than in men (48.9%). The absolute difference in relative survival between 2000-2007 and 1995-1999 was positive for all cancers as a whole (+4.8% in men, +1.6% in women) and for most types of tumours. Survival increased significantly for chronic myeloid leukaemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and rectum cancer in both sexes, and for acute lymphoid leukaemia, prostate, liver and colon cancers in men and Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer in women. Survival patterns by age were similar in Europe and Spain. A decline in survival by age was observed in all tumours, being more pronounced for ovarian, corpus uteri, prostate and urinary bladder and less for head and neck and rectum cancers.

CONCLUSION: High variability and differences have been observed in survival among adults in Spain according to the type of cancer diagnosed, from above 84% to below 10%, reflecting high heterogeneity. The differences in prognosis by age, sex and period of diagnosis reveal opportunities for improving cancer care in Spain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-211
Number of pages11
JournalClinical and Translational Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms/epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prognosis
  • Registries/statistics & numerical data
  • Spain/epidemiology
  • Survival Rate
  • Young Adult


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