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In this report on cancer survival in Denmark from 1995-2012, we linked individual level data from the national cancer clinical databases to compute age-standardized 1-year and 5-year mortality rates, survival proportions, and relative survival for breast, lung, colorectal, and ovarian cancers.


Previous OECD reports on cancer survival have repeatedly shown that Denmark performs worse when compared to our Scandinavian counterparts and other nations of comparable size and demographics. A defining feature of the Danish cancer clinical databases is high data completeness, clinically-based prospective data capture, and an organizational infrastructure (i.e., led by clinical experts working closely with their respective patient population.


We provide evidence that cancer survival in Denmark has steadily improved over the past 20 years, and that Danish cancer survival, especially in the most recent years, is higher than what has been previously reported elsewhere.


It is important to note that the results presented in this report are based on clinical (i.e., hospital-based) data, in contrast to survival estimates from the OECD and other multinational collaborations such as NORDCAN, which are based on population-based cancer registry data. Thus, although our data analyses cannot be directly compared to results from the OECD 2013 reports, they nevertheless provide insight on temporal trends and developments in cancer survival in Denmark.


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Revised 24.11.2017