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Average 10-year survival rate for cancer stands at 58.5%

The 10-year survival rate for cancer patients who were diagnosed and treated between 2000 and 2003 stood at 58.5 percent, a survey by the Japanese Association of Clinical Cancer Centers has found.

    The association, representing 32 hospitals specializing in cancer treatment, released the 10-year survival rate on Feb. 16, having first released this type of data in 2016. The figure is on par with the 58.2 percent rate reported last year.

    The rate was based on data from approximately 45,000 cancer patients at 20 medical facilities across Japan.

    By cancer type, the 10-year survival rates, from best to worst, stood at 94.5 percent for prostate cancer, 81.7 percent for breast cancer, 71.4 percent for cervical cancer, 69.2 percent for bowel cancer, 67.3 percent for stomach cancer, 45.7 percent for ovarian cancer, 32.6 percent for lung cancer, 16.4 percent for liver cancer and 5.1 percent for pancreatic cancer.

    The 10-year survival data was also broken down into four disease stages. Patients with stage 1 (early stage) stomach cancer or bowel cancer were found to have a high survival rate of approximately 95 percent. However, for patients with stage 4 cancer -- in which the cancer had spread to other organs -- the survival rate was found to be less than 10 percent. The results underscore the importance of early detection.

    The five-year survival rates for stomach cancer and bowel cancer were not significantly higher than the survival rates beyond that point. Five years is the approximate length of time needed to remove these cancers.

    However, the survival rate for breast cancer continued to decrease at a steady pace after five years, and with regard to liver cancer, the survival rate after 10 years was half that after five years. These results are a reminder that long-term observation is necessary -- as cancer can sometimes reappear.

    However, these latest statistics are based on patient data from more than 10 years ago. Survey leader Nobuhiro Saruki, the head of the Gunma Prefectural Institute of Public Health and Environmental Services, commented, "I think that the survival rates will increase in the future as more and more treatment choices, such as anticancer drugs, become available."

    The data can be accessed by visiting the Japan Association of Clinical Cancer Centers' website (in Japanese) at http://www.zengankyo.ncc.go.jp from Feb. 16 onward. The data can also be viewed according to factors such as type, disease stage and treatment method. It is also possible to browse the five-year survival rate data (for patients who were diagnosed between 2006 and 2008).

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