In early November, Swedish HealthCare arranged for a group of ten thoracic surgeons from China to visit two Swedish hospital clinics specialized in thoracic surgery. The visiting surgeons – all directors of major hospitals– are all specialized in the field of lung cancer and leading members of the Branch Association of Thoracic Surgery in China. The purpose of the visits was to exchange know-how of lung cancer treatment and lung surgery with Swedish colleagues.
First the surgeons visited the Lung Oncology Center at NKS Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm. There they observed a live laparoscopic surgery where the surgeon removed part of a lung from a male patient with lung cancer. The operating surgeon commented and showed his work in detail to the visitors with the help of a head camera. In the end, the surgery was successful, and the experience was highly appreciated by the Chinese colleagues.
The next day the Chinese group visited the department of Thoracic Surgery at Uppsala University Hospital where they discussed and compared survival rates for lung cancer in Sweden and China. Since 2002 Sweden has a National Quality Registry for Lung Cancer where up-to-date information and statistics can be found regarding diagnostics, treatment and survival rates of Swedish lung cancer patients.
Sweden has a good international reputation for cancer treatment. For lung cancer treatment in Sweden, the EUROCARE 5 study reported a 5-year relative survival of 14,7% for the follow-up period 2000-2007, higher than the European average 13,0% for the same period. The most common types of cancer in Sweden are prostate cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer, colon cancer and lung cancer. For lung cancer, the prevalence rate in Sweden is now almost the same for men and women. China is facing many of the same challenges as Sweden with an aging population and a rapidly growing number of lung, prostate and breast cancer patients.
The Chinese surgeons were very pleased to meet with Swedish colleagues, discuss new surgery techniques and compare outcomes with their own results. Swedish HealthCare arranged the hospital visits and accompanied the group. Swedish HealthCare hopes to continue to cooperate with the China International Medical Foundation to further assist in international exchange and knowledge transfer to support improved medical treatments and outcomes.