RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A new report finds that we are doing a better job treating cancer in the U.S. Five-year survival rates for all forms of cancer have risen significantly
- Tell us about the latest report on cancer survival rates?
This latest report – published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute – examines clinical data collected between 1975 and 2014, and it shows a significant decrease in the number of deaths caused by nearly all types of cancer, with the exception of two—cervical and uterine cancer.
- First the good news: Where did we make the biggest gains in survival?
The largest increase in survival rates was noted in leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, myeloma (or cancer of the bone marrow), and prostate and kidney cancers. The number of patients who survived these forms of cancer increased by 25 percent or more during the study. Other cancers with the greatest survival rate were thyroid cancer, melanoma, and breast cancer in women.
- What cancers were not shown to have an increase in survival rates during the study?
Unfortunately we have not made progress in five-year survival rates in ovarian and uterine cancer. In addition, cancers diagnosed between 2006 and 2012 that had the lowest survival rates were cancer of the pancreas, liver, stomach, esophagus and brain.
- What can we do to continue to fight cancer?
It is important to remember that everyone must engage with their primary care doctor and make sure that they are getting appropriate screening tests when recommended. In addition, it is vital that women, in particular, see a qualified OBGYN provider and get screened for uterine and ovarian cancers. While the development of new treatments is essential to better outcomes, the focus on prevention is critical to increasing survival through early diagnosis.