Blood can­cer sur­vival rates ris­ing fastest

The Prince George Citizen - - Science -

There was a time David Mitchell didn’t be­lieve he would sur­vive un­til his 50th birth­day. But he reached that mile­stone ear­lier this year, thanks to a life-sav­ing stem cell trans­plant to treat non-Hodgkin lym­phoma.

“They ba­si­cally said, ‘Yup, there is zero sign of can­cer any­where,”’ the Ot­tawa res­i­dent re­calls of a checkup that fol­lowed pre­vi­ous failed rounds of chemo­ther­apy and ra­di­a­tion. “It was as­tound­ing.”

To­day, the Cana­dian Can­cer So­ci­ety says Mitchell can count him­self among the grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple who are sur­viv­ing blood can­cer due to pre­ci­sion medicine – treat­ments based on a per­son’s genes or other unique fea­tures of the can­cer the per­son has.

New sta­tis­tics re­leased Wed­nes­day sug­gest the sur­vival rate for blood can­cers is out­pac­ing the sur­vival rate of any other can­cer.

The over­all sur­vival rates have im­proved to 63 per cent – up eight per­cent­age points since the early 1990s.

But the most gains have been among com­mon blood can­cers, in­clud­ing non-Hodgkin lym­phoma, mul­ti­ple myeloma and leukemia.

The sur­vival rate for these can­cers in­creased 16 to 19 per­cent­age points.

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