There has been remarkable improvement in the cancer survival rate with cancer victims now living 6-times longer than they did 40-years ago, according to Macmillan Cancer Support charity. Medical advances, new drugs and greater awareness of symptoms have led to an increase in the survival rate. Patients can now expect to live an average 5.8-years after diagnosis, compared with just 1-year in 1971.
The median survival time was more than 5-years for 11 out of 20 cancers (kidney, cervical, colon, larynx, melanoma, rectal, testicular, uterus, breast, Hodgkin's, kidney and non-Hodgkin lymphoma) that were studied. But for 9 other cancers (adult leukemia, brain, lung, myeloma, oesophageal, ovarian, pancreatic, stomach) the median survival time was 3-years or less.
Patients diagnosed with six cancers, including breast, colon and
non-Hodgkin lymphomas, have a median survival of more than 10-years. But survival rates for lung, brain and pancreatic cancer are counted in months rather than years.
The research highlights life-expectancy after cancer diagnosis and the importance of treatment's long term impact.