Half of all cancer patients now survive at least 10 years

April 29, 2014

Fifty per cent of people diagnosed with cancer today will survive their disease for at least 10 years, according to landmark figures published by Cancer Research UK today.

In the early 1970s just a quarter of people diagnosed with cancer survived 10 years.

Today, Cancer Research UK sets out an ambitious new strategy to accelerate progress with the ambition that three-quarters (75 per cent) of all diagnosed in 20 years time will survive at least 10 years.

Women with breast cancer now have a 78 per cent chance of surviving at least a decade, compared to only 40 per cent 40 years ago.

Ten-year for men with testicular cancer has jumped from 69 to 98 per cent since the 1970s and, for people diagnosed with malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, 10-year survival has leapt from 46 to 89 per cent.

But it's not all good news. Just one per cent of pancreatic cancer patients and five per cent of diagnosed today are expected to survive 10 years. Cancer Research UK has worked to increase research into these cancers but change has been slower than hoped – which is why a renewed focus is needed to make faster progress.

Survival from oesophageal cancer is still far too low at 12 per cent, although 40 years ago it languished at around four per cent. Brain tumour survival is also very low at just 13 per cent, despite more than doubling in the last 40 years.

Saving more lives from all cancers, including those that are hard to treat, is the overriding focus of Cancer Research UK's new strategy, launched today. The strategy details a raft of measures aimed at accelerating the speed of progress.

Ensuring cancer patients are diagnosed at the earliest possible stage of their disease, when treatment is more likely to be successful, is a key priority for the charity. And it plans to fund more scientists from different disciplines because collaboration is key to moving discoveries from the laboratory into the clinic to make sure patients will benefit sooner.

Professor Michel Coleman, head of Cancer Research UK's Cancer Survival Group at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, whose team produced the survival figures, said: "These results come from detailed analysis of the survival of more than 7 million cancer patients diagnosed in England and Wales since the 1970s. They show just how far we've come in improving cancer survival, but they also shine a spotlight on areas where much more needs to be done.

"We want to see people with every type of cancer get the same chances of living a long life. This won't be easy, but the progress reported here over the last 40 years shows we're moving in the right direction."

Dr Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK's chief executive, said: "Every year, tens of thousands more people are surviving cancer a decade after diagnosis, showing that we're gradually reversing the tide on this devastating disease. This is thanks to the work of our scientists and doctors, but none of it would be possible without the generosity of the British public, whose donations we rely on to fund all our research.

"But each year more and more people are diagnosed with cancer. We believe no one should be diagnosed too late for their life to be saved and effective treatments should be available to every patient, no matter what type of cancer they have.

"Achieving our ambition to see three-quarters of all patients surviving their disease in the next 20 years will be challenging. But with the continued commitment of our scientists, doctors and nurses and the generous support of the British public, we hope to see our progress accelerate over the coming years to make this a reality."

Explore further: Nearly all men survive testicular cancer

More information: The cited figures are available online: www.cancerresearchuk.org/cance … ancerstats/survival/

Related Stories

Nearly all men survive testicular cancer

July 29, 2013
Survival for testicular cancer has risen by almost 30 per cent in the last 40 years, with nearly all men now beating the disease, according to figures published by Cancer Research UK.

Eight in 10 now survive skin cancer

July 22, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—More than eight out of 10 people diagnosed with malignant melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, will now survive the disease, compared to only around five in 10 in the early 70s, according to ...

A third of a million people now diagnosed with cancer every year

January 14, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—The number of people being diagnosed with cancer in the UK each year has hit more than 330,000 for the first time, according to the latest figures published by Cancer Research UK today.

Early trip to the GP gives big boost to lung cancer patients

December 9, 2013
A powerful campaign urging people with a three week old cough to get checked out by their doctor has resulted in a dramatic rise in the number of lung cancers detected earlier according to an analysis of the results announced ...

Lung cancer rates climb by three quarters in women while halving in men

March 20, 2014
Lung cancer rates in women have risen by a staggering three quarters (73 per cent) over the last forty years according to new Cancer Research UK figures released today.

Deaths from oesophageal cancer up by almost 50 per cent in last 40 years

January 6, 2014
The number of people dying from oesophageal cancer – cancer of the gullet or food pipe – has risen by 49 per cent in the last 40 years according to new figures published by Cancer Research UK, today.

Recommended for you

Study provides insight into link between two rare tumor syndromes

August 22, 2017
UCLA researchers have discovered that timing is everything when it comes to preventing a specific gene mutation in mice from developing rare and fast-growing cancerous tumors, which also affects young children. This mutation ...

Retaining one normal BRCA gene in breast, ovarian cancers influences patient survival

August 22, 2017
Determining which cancer patients are likely to be resistant to initial treatment is a major research effort of oncologists and laboratory scientists. Now, ascertaining who might fall into that category may become a little ...

Study identifies miR122 target sites in liver cancer and links a gene to patient survival

August 22, 2017
A new study of a molecule that regulates liver-cell metabolism and suppresses liver-cancer development shows that the molecule interacts with thousands of genes in liver cells, and that when levels of the molecule go down, ...

Zebrafish larvae could be used as 'avatars' to optimize personalized treatment of cancer

August 21, 2017
Portuguese scientists have for the first time shown that the larvae of a tiny fish could one day become the preferred model for predicting, in advance, the response of human malignant tumors to the various therapeutic drugs ...

Scientists discover vitamin C regulates stem cell function, curbs leukemia development

August 21, 2017
Not much is known about stem cell metabolism, but a new study from the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) has found that stem cells take up unusually high levels of vitamin C, which then ...

Searching for the 'signature' causes of BRCAness in breast cancer

August 21, 2017
Breast cancer cells with defects in the DNA damage repair-genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 have a mutational signature (a pattern of base swaps—e.g., Ts for Gs, Cs for As—throughout a genome) known in cancer genomics as "Signature ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.