Trends in Cancer Survival

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March 15, 2005 at 1:54 pm  •  Posted in Cancer by  •  0 Comments

Cancer Survivors
  • There are more than 9 million cancer survivors in the U.S.
  • More than 50% of individuals with cancer can expect to be alive and free of any sign of the disease in 5 years.
  • Over 1.4 million cancer survivors are more than 20 years past treatment and are considered long-term survivors.
Advances in Care Management
  • Improved methods for detecting, monitoring, and treating cancer.
  • New specifically tailored “designer drugs” to treat some cancers
  • Improved side effect management for better quality of life
  • People with cancer are living longer
Improved methods:
  • Biopsy: Body tissue is removed for examination and diagnosis
  • Imaging: Pictures are taken of areas inside the body, to help see whether a tumor is present
  • Common Imaging Modalities: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computed Tomography (CT or CAT scan), sonogram (sometimes called ultrasound)
  • Designer Drugs: Drugs that are developed to treat specific cancers such as breast cancer
Specific Survival Rates
  • For breast cancer, researchers found white women had higher survival rates than black women throughout follow-up. At 15 years, the survival rate for white women was 61% and for black women 48%. Women diagnosed before age 45 with local stage disease had the lowest survival rate, regardless of the length of follow-up.
  • For prostate cancer, white men had higher survival rates than black men throughout follow-up. At 15 years, the relative survival rate for white men was 58% and black men 39%. Men diagnosed after age 75 with local or regional spread had the lowest survival, regardless of the length of follow-up.
  • For colorectal cancer, whites had higher survival rates than blacks throughout follow-up, with no differences in rates between males and females. Among whites, the age-specific relative survival rates at 5, 10, and 15 years did not vary appreciably by age. Among blacks, researchers observed larger differences at certain ages in relative survival rates. Relative survival appeared to decrease with age after age 45 for blacks with local and regional stage disease.
  • For lung cancer, survival was better throughout follow-up for females than males, and for whites than blacks. Survival decreased with age regardless of gender, race, or stage. For all race- and stage-specific groups, among patients who had already survived 5 and 10 years, the probability of surviving 5 more years was higher than for patients with a new diagnosis.

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