Cancer survival rates joy...if it’s caught early
PEOPLE diagnosed with skin, prostate or breast cancer in the earliest stages have the same chance of being alive after a year as the general population, figures revealed yesterday.
Experts stressed that an early diagnosis not only dramatically improved the outcome of cancer treatment but could act as a wake up call, prompting men in particular to improve their lifestyles and general health.
The importance of early diagnosis was underlined by the fact the five-year survival rate for prostate cancer in men plummeted from no added risk if diagnosed at Stage 1 to just 48 per cent if diagnosed at Stage 4.
Karen Stalbow, head of policy, knowledge and impact at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “These updated cancer survival statistics reiterate the importance of catching prostate cancer early.
“Nearly 40 per cent of cases are still only caught at a late stage when the chances of living for five or ten years are greatly reduced.”
She said the fact that survival chances for men diagnosed with localised prostate cancer appeared to be even slightly higher than men without a diagnosis “may indicate that a diagnosis can lead to increased personal
health monitoring and healthier behaviours post diagnosis”.
However, one, five and 10-year survival estimates for the 29 most common cancers present a “mixed picture”, according to the Office for National Statistics and Public Health England.
Sally Greenbrook, policy manager at charity Breast Cancer Now, said: “These figures show how important early detection is in giving breast cancer patients the best chance of survival. The
earlier the disease is found, the more likely treatment is to be successful. We would urge all women to check their breasts regularly and attend screening when invited.”
Sarah Caul, head of cancer analysis at the ONS, said: “In general, we have seen an increase in people’s chances of survival across different types of cancer.
“Melanoma of the skin, prostate and breast cancer have continued to have the highest chances of survival across all age-standardised
estimates compared to other cancer types.
“This is the first time we’ve looked at this in more detail to examine how five-year survival rates change depending on the stage of the disease and when it is diagnosed.”
When it came to five-year survival rates, patients with skin cancer had the best chances: 89 per cent for men and 94 per cent for women.
Pancreatic cancer had the lowest five-year survival rate for men and women, at 6.4 and 7.5 per cent respectively.