This site is intended for health professionals only

Cancer survival rates have doubled

Survival rates from cancer have doubled in the last 30 years, new figures show.

Statistics released by the charity Cancer Research UK found that on average a patient with cancer now has a 46.2% chance of being alive 10 years after diagnosis, compared with 23.6% 30 years ago.

While survival rates vary widely between different types of cancer, the overall five-year survival rate is now 49.6% for patients diagnosed with cancer in England and Wales between 2000 and 2001, the charity said.

The figures show that the sharpest rise in overall cancer survival rates between 1971 and 2001 has happened in the last 10 years.

During that period, the combined cancer survival rate rose from 35.4% to 46.2%.

The charity said improvements in the management of cancer over the last three decades have led to significantly better survival rates.

Greater use of specialist surgery, screening programmes to improve detection and advances in chemotherapy and radiotherapy have all helped to bump up rates.

Cancer Research Uk

Copyright © PA Business 2007