Cancer survival differences between South Asians and non-South Asians of England in 1986-2004, accounting for age at diagnosis and deprivation.

BACKGROUND - South Asian migrants show lower cancer incidence than their host population in England for most major cancers. We seek to study the ethnic differences in survival from cancer.

METHODS - We described and modelled the effect of ethnicity, time, age and deprivation on survival for the five most incident cancers in each sex in South Asians in England between 1986 and 2004 using national cancer registry data. South Asian ethnicity was flagged using the validated name-recognition algorithm SANGRA (South Asian Names and Group Recognition Algorithm).

RESULTS - We observed survival advantage in South Asians in earlier periods. This ethnic gap either remained constant or narrowed over time. By 2004, age-standardised net survival was comparable for all cancers except three in men, where South Asians had higher survival 5 years after diagnosis: colorectal (58.9% vs 53.6%), liver (15.0% vs 9.4%) and lung (15.9% vs 9.3%). Compared with non-South Asians, South Asians experienced a slower increase in breast and prostate cancer survival, both cancers associated with either a screening programme or an early diagnosis test. We did not find differential patterns in survival by deprivation between both ethnicities.

CONCLUSIONS - Considering recent survival trends, appropriate action is required to avoid deficits in cancer survival among South Asians in the near future.

Br J Cancer. 2015 Jun 30;113(1):173-81. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2015.182. Epub 2015 Jun 16.

Maringe C1, Li R1, Mangtani P1, Coleman MP1, Rachet B1.

Faculty of Epidemiology and population Health, London school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, UK.