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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

CANCER: 8 percent of survivors develop a second different malignancy

In this study of over 2 million adult cancer survivors, 8 percent were found to have later acquired a second, unrelated type of cancer.  Those patients who had bladder cancer or non-Hodgkin lymphoma originally were found to be more likely to have a second cancer, which was most often lung cancer.  An argument is made for more routine CT scans of the lungs of bladder cancer survivors as long-term follow-up.


[Interview with author]: Irwin, K. (2016, July 13). Nearly 1 in 12 patients with a common cancer develop a second, unrelated malignancy. UCLA Press Release.  Full text free here: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/nearly-1-in-12-patients-with-a-common-cancer-develop-a-second-unrelated-malignancy

[The medical journal article]: Dorin, N., Filson, C., Drakaki, A., and others. (2016, June). Risk of second primary malignancies among cancer survivors in the United States, 1992 through 2008. Cancer.  Click here for access to publisher’s website: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cncr.30164/abstract  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

ONCOLOGY: Treatment and palliative care can work together

President Nixon declared a War on Cancer in 1971; Vice President Joseph Biden recently announced a cancer cure “moonshot.”  The authors of this opinion piece, physicians with the Duke Cancer Institute and the Center to Advance Palliative Care, suggest that rather than the traditional model of bringing palliative care options to the fore after cure options have been exhausted, the two should be integrated.  Palliative care, which now often connotes end-of-life care to many, should be employed as a way of easing the patient and family through the rigors, pain, and discomfort associated with active treatment.  The need for introduction of palliative concepts into the medical school or residency curriculum is mentioned, as is the estimated shortage of 10,000 palliative care physicians.

Source: Kamal, A.H., Leblanc, T.W., and Meier, D.E. (2016, May 31). Better palliative care for all: Improving the lived experience with cancer. JAMA.  Click here: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=2526608  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

CANCER CENTERS: 24 infusion chairs on average

Here are some interesting data on cancer center infusion services.  This survey, conducted by the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) and Lilly Oncology, was responded to primarily by staff in hospital-based outpatient cancer programs.

Number of Infusion Chairs and Beds per Center (average)

  • 24 (2015)
  • 18.5 (2014)

Number of Infusion Encounters per Center per Year (average)

  • 9,561 (2015)
  • 9,133 (2014)

Number of Infusion Patients per Chair per Day (average)

  • 3:1 was reported by 29 percent of respondents in 2015
  • 2:1 was reported by 25 percent of respondents in 2015

Nurse-to-Patient Staffing Ratios in Infusion Service

  • 1:4 was reported by 43 percent of respondents in 2015
  • 1:3 was reported by 20 percent of respondents in 2015

This highlights document can be accessed at no charge – and contains lots of other data on cancer center operations.  The full survey report is available to ACCC members only.

Source: Association of Community Cancer Centers. (2015). 2015 Trends in Cancer Programs. Click here: accc-cancer.org/surveys/pdf/Trends-in-Cancer-Programs-2015.pdf  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org




How to find out about hospital cancer programs

Here are some sources that have data about hospital cancer programs.


The website US News & World Report lists about 900 hospitals that specialize in cancer care.  To be included on this list, a hospital must care for 254 or more patients per year.  Click here to view this list at no charge: http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/rankings/cancer


The American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer has a hospital look-up tool for the roughly 1500 hospitals that have accredited cancer centers.  This look-up tool has detailed counts of the number of patients treated according to different types of cancer.  The majority of hospitals included in this look-up tool have provided the detailed data, but some have not.  There is no information on patient outcomes.  Click here to view this at no charge: http://datalinks.facs.org/cpm/CPMApprovedHospitals_Search.htm


The Association of Community Cancer Centers also has a web-based lookup tool with information on about 700 cancer programs.  The profiles include information on new cancer patients seen, but not on outcomes.  Click here to view this at no charge: http://www.accc-cancer.org/membership_directory/

Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org