Credit: © photopitu / Fotolia

Credit: © photopitu / Fotolia

Cancer survival rates continue to surge

Cancer survival rates continue to surge at a steady rate, according to the latest Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer.

Five year survival rates for almost all cancer types, with the exception of two types have significantly increased.

The latest report analyzed data from 1975-2014, which showed an important decrease in mortality rates.

The study, which was led by Ahmedin Jemal, Ph.D., of the American Cancer Society, looks at the results as a way to analyze the progression of cancer treatment.

While trends in death rates are the most commonly used measure to assess progress against cancer, survival trends are also an important measure to evaluate progress in improvement of cancer outcomes,” Jemal explained.

The only two cancers that did not show a significant change were cervical and uterine cancer.

The biggest survival rate increase was found in leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, myeloma, and prostate and kidney cancers.

Other cancers with high survival rates were thyroid cancer, melanoma, and breast cancer in women.

We last included a special section on cancer survival in 2004, and as we found then, survival improved over time for almost all cancers at every stage of diagnosis,” says the lead author of the study. “But survival remains very low for some types of cancer and for most types of cancers diagnosed at an advanced stage.”

Although the trends are promising, the authors do add the need for greater cancer prevention methods and ways to identify cancer risk factors more effectively.

Dr. Lisa C. Richardson, director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control went into detail on the results and calls for a focused effort to stop preventable cancers:

“This report found that tobacco-related cancers have low survival rates, which underscores the importance of continuing to do what we know works to significantly reduce tobacco use.

With obesity as a risk factor for cancer, we need to continue to support communities and families in prevention approaches that can help reverse the nation’s obesity epidemic. We need to come together to create interventions aimed at increasing the uptake of recommended, effective cancer screening tests, and access to timely cancer care.”

The executive director of NAACCR, Betsy A. Kohler, also expressed her thoughts on the findings:

The continued drops in overall cancer death rates in the United States are welcome news, reflecting improvements in prevention, early detection, and treatment,” she says. “But this report also shows us that progress has been limited for several cancers, which should compel us to renew our commitment to efforts to discover new strategies for prevention, early detection, and treatment, and to apply proven interventions broadly and equitably.”

So as cancer survival rates continue to surge, medical researchers continue to search for ways to bring those numbers even higher.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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1. “Cancer Mortality Rates Continue to Drop, According to National Report.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 02 Apr. 2017.
2. “Annual Report to the Nation 2017: Mortality Highlights.” SEER. National Cancer Institute, n.d. Web. 02 Apr. 2017.
3. “Annual Report to the Nation: Cancer Death Rates Continue to Decline.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 Mar. 2017. Web. 02 Apr. 2017.

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