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What are the survival rates for common types of cancer?

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Quick Answer

As of 2006, the 5-year relative survival rates for prostate, breast, bladder colorectal and lung cancer are 100 percent, 90 percent, 81 percent, 67 percent and 16 percent respectively, reports the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The overall relative 5-year survival rate for all types of cancer is estimated at 68 percent among adults.

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Full Answer

Cancer survival rates vary from patient to patient. Factors that can influence survival rates include cancer type, stage at which the malignancy is detected, duration after diagnosis and patient age, notes the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Survival rates serve as a guide for cancer specialists to make predictions regarding a patient's prognosis and viable treatment course.

Five-year relative survival rates for various types of cancer define the percentage of diagnosed patients who are alive after a 5-year period, including those still undergoing treatment and those in remission. For example, 100 out of every 100 men with prostate cancer are still living 5 years from the time the disease was detected on average. The decrease in mortality rates for prostate cancer since the mid-1970s is attributed to improved diagnostic techniques, particularly prostate-specific antigen testing.

For women with cervical cancer, the overall 5-year survival rate is 68 percent on average, although this rate increases to 91 percent in cases of early diagnosis. For testicular cancer, the overall 5-year survival rate is 95 percent, which drops down to 80 percent for men whose cancer has spread to other parts of the body, states NIH.

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