Survival rates improve for the most common cancers

More people are surviving the four most common cancers in England, a report said today.

Five-year survival rates for breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer have risen, the Office for National Statistics said. More patients were alive at year five if they were diagnosed between 2003 and 2007 than if they were diagnosed between 2001 and 2006. The difference was high for women with breast cancer (1.3 per cent), people with colon cancer (1.5 per cent) and men with prostate cancer (2.7 per cent).

The difference was small (0.4 per cent) for lung cancer, often diagnosed in its later stages. Survival rates were also higher for several other cancers monitored over the same period. The largest increase in five-year survival between 2001-2006 to 2003-2007 was 3.5 per cent for men diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (from up to 58.2 per cent) and 3.4 per cent for myeloma (up to 33.5 per cent). Myeloma also showed the largest rise (2.8 per cent) in survival for women (up to 32.7 per cent). More men survived testicular cancer than any other (96.2 per cent) while more women survived malignant melanoma (90.1%).