Net survival rates for counties use patients’ home addresses from when they were diagnosed. Even if a patient moves after diagnosis, perhaps to be closer to a cancer treatment center, that patient’s outcome will be used for the net survival rate of his or her original county of residence.

A region’s net cancer survival rate reflects the population in the county: how often they screen for cancer, the prevalence of risky behaviors such as smoking, the prevalence of impoverished neighborhoods and access to quality treatment.

All cancers

Clear geographic disparities could be seen in Pennsylvania counties’ 5-year net cancer survival rates. Southwest and northeast Pennsylvania had most of the counties with the lowest 5-year net cancer survival rates. Philadelphia’s rate was also low. Many counties in the Southcentral and Southeast Health Districts had relatively high rates.

Figure 13: 5-year Net Cancer Survival Among Pennsylvanians, Aged 15+, by County