Two out of 3 people diagnosed with cancer survive five years or more, according to a CDC study published in the March 12 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The survival rate has increased because of improvements in early detection and treatment of cancer, according to a news release.
The report found that the most common cancers continue to be those of the prostate (128 cases per 100,000 men), female breast (122 cases per 100,000 women), lung and bronchus (61 cases per 100,000 people), and colon and rectum (40 cases per 100,000 people). Among these common cancer sites, the five-year relative survival was 97% for prostate cancer, 88% for breast cancer, 63% for colorectal cancer and 18% for lung cancer.
The cancer survivor estimates are from the most recent data on cases of invasive cancers reported during 2011, which can be found in the CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries.
Disparities in cancer incidence still persist, according to the report, with greater rates among men than women and the highest rates among blacks. Also, five-year relative survival after any cancer diagnosis was lower for blacks (60%) than for whites (65%). Incidence rates by state for all cancer sites ranged from 374 cases per 100,000 persons in New Mexico to 509 cases per 100,000 persons in the District of Columbia.
“These data are an important reminder that a key to surviving with cancer is making sure everyone has access to care from early diagnosis to treatment,” Lisa Richardson, MD, director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, said in the release. “We know, for example, that early detection of colorectal cancer has had the largest impact on long-term survival rates.”
To read the report, “Invasive Cancer Incidence and Survival – United States, 2011,” go to www.cdc.gov/mmwr.