For the first time, comprehensive cancer survival data are published from developing countries 10 populations intotal from Costa Rica, Cuba, China, India, the Philippines and Thailand. These data allow valid comparisons to be made with data from Europe and North America. An interesting finding is that for cancers associated with poor prognosis, the differences in survival between developed and developing countries were negligible. However, there are larger absolute differences for cancers of the large bowel, breast, cervix, ovary and testis, and for lymphoreticular malignancies. The publication provides a framework for investigating the problems in data gathering and patient follow-up, as well as methods for estimating cancer survival, in developing countries.