Cancer survival in Eastern and Western Germany after the fall of the iron curtain
- 328 Downloads
Prior to the German reunification, cancer survival was much lower in East than in West Germany. We compare cancer survival between Eastern and Western Germany in the early twenty-first century, i.e. the second decade after the German reunification. Using data from 11 population-based cancer registries covering a population of 33 million people, 5-year age-standardized relative survival for the time period 2002–2006 was estimated for the 25 most common cancers using model-based period analysis. In 2002–2006, 5-year relative survival was very similar for most cancers, with differences below 3 % units for 20 of 25 cancer sites. Larger, statistically significant survival advantages were seen for oral cavity, oesophagus, and gallbladder cancer and skin melanoma in the West and for leukemia in the East. Our study shows that within two decades after the assimilation of political and health care systems, the former major survival gap of cancer patients in Eastern Germany has been essentially overcome. This result is encouraging as it suggests that, even though economic conditions have remained difficult in Eastern Germany, comparable health care provision may nevertheless enable comparable levels of cancer survival within a relatively short period of time.
KeywordsCancer survival Cancer registry Regional variation Germany
This study was supported by the German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe) Grant No. 108257.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 3.Möhner M, Stabenow R, Eisinger B. Atlas der Krebsinzidenz in der DDR 1961–1989. Munich: Urban and Fischer; 1999.Google Scholar
- 5.Stabenow R, Wilsdorf-Köhler H, Neumeyer-Gromen A, Streller B. Krebs in Mecklenburg–Vorpommern 2007–2008 (Landesbericht). Berlin: Gemeinsames Krebsregister; 1/2011.Google Scholar
- 11.Ederer F, Heise H. Instructions to IBM 650 programmers in processing survival computations. Bethesda: National Cancer Institute; 1959.Google Scholar
- 12.Robert Koch Institute. 20 Jahre nach dem Fall der Mauer: Wie hat sich die Gesundheit in Deutschland entwickelt?. Berlin: Robert Koch Institute; 2010.Google Scholar