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CANCER: 5-year survival rate improves in recent decades

Survival improved substantially over this time period for both whites and blacks overall (all sites) and for almost all cancer types…”

The overall five-year survival rate for cancer patients has improved in the past 40 years, according to national data in this fact-packed, scholarly article.

Looking at the more treatable cancers, here are the top five with the highest survival rates, based on recent data:

  • Prostate (99.3 percent five-year survival rate)
  • Thyroid (98.3 percent)
  • Skin (93.2 percent)
  • Breast (90.8 percent)
  • Uterine (83.4 percent)

Source: Jemal, A., and others. (2017). Annual report to the nation on the status of cancer, 1975-2014, featuring survival. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 109(9).  Click here for free full text: https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/jnci/djx030  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050 rc@aha.org

Posting patient outcomes on hospital website

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Philadelphia) has started posting 5-year survival rates, and patient volume, for patients with 4 common types of cancer: breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate, and in the 4 stages of severity of disease for each type.  The graphs compare Fox Chase’s patient outcomes with two other groups: community hospital cancer programs and comprehensive community hospital cancer programs.  Other hospitals offer cancer patient outcomes data in report format.  Examples include a detailed report on prostate cancer outcomes produced by Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute (Scarborough, ME) and a broader oncology data report from Riverside Methodist Hospital (Columbus, OH).


Clinical Outcomes at Fox Chase Cancer Center: Five Year Survival Statistics for Major Cancers, [accessed 1/31/11]. 

Prostate Cancer Quality Report on Clinical Outcomes: A Guide for Referring Physicians 2009.  Scarborough, ME: Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute, [accessed 1/31/11].  http://www.mmc.org/workfiles/mmc_oncology/Prostate_Cancer_Quality_Report_2009.pdfCancer

Clinical Outcomes 2008 Report.  Columbus, OH: Riverside Methodist Hospital, [accessed 1/31/11].  http://www.ohiohealth.com/documents/cancer/rmhoutcomes_2008.pdf