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Israel has one of the highest survival rates among cancer patients in the West, according to a Health Ministry report released on Tuesday. However, the number of cancer patients in Israel is rapidly growing.

According to the Health Ministry's cancer registration unit, 61 of 100 male Jewish cancer patients survive after a five-year recovery period, and 67 of 100 female Jewish patients survive after five years.

Dr. Micha Barhana, director of the Health Ministry's cancer registration unit, says "there is an increase in cancer survival in Israel, which is influenced by programs for early detection and national awareness, as well as a result of modern medicine and technologies used in recent years."

The Arab sector in Israel holds a 51 percent survival rate among male cancer patients after five years, while the survival rate for Arab females is 65%. The data is based on an observation of patients diagnosed with cancer between the years 1991 to 2002, who are registered in the Health Ministry national reserve. The Ministry tested the relative survival chances of these patients in correlation to their ages.

In a years-long study of survivors diagnosed with cancer from the years 1990 to 1994, and from 1995 to 1998, the data shows an increase in cancer survival. The survival rates for cancer patients after five years increased in a decade from 50.4 percent to 61.4 percent in Jewish men and from 58.4 percent to 67.3 percent in Jewish women.