cancer survival rate

CANCER SURVIVAL RATE 2020 | TOP 5 DEADLIEST TUMOURS

Cancer is an amorphous word that is given to a collection of diseases that act in the same manner. Usually, in all types of cancer, your body’s cells may begin to divide sporadically without stopping and may spread into surrounding tissues. Cancer cells are terrifying; they’re capable of becoming more and more abnormal.

Worse still cancer cells are tough to kill, unlike normal cells which get old, damaged or die and are replaced by your body, without the functions of the tissues they were found, not being compromised. On the contrary cancer cells behave the opposite and can spread as well as destroy the tissues or organs consequently compromising the functionality of these organs and tissues.

That being established, has advancement in knowledge and technology influenced cancer survival rate? If you’ve been curious to know if more people are dying from cancer or if there has been any improvement in the treatment of cancer over the years, well, this question has stuck in many minds and today’s post would probably soothe your aching cancer thoughts. 

As health a practitioner in my years of practice, I have encountered these questions in many forms. Every time while talking to patients, friends and family members about cancer, I can sense their fear. Their strong emotion always presents me with an opportunity to educate them about this dreaded illness. Even if it means being an emotional opportunist, in line with year 2020 world cancer day theme: ‘I am and I will’. I have decided to play an active role in cancer awareness and advocacy.

As an individual, you too can make a difference in your own little way. You can carve out a niche from the broad categories in the fight against this dreaded illness. All hands must be on deck, if you’re not infected today you can be affected tomorrow. The war on cancer is unending, cancer is the second leading cause of death universally, according to a WHO publication in 2018 about 9.6 million deaths are cancer related.

The disease burden of cancer is heavy, about I in 6 deaths is due to cancer. Cancer is impoverishing, in the region of 70% of deaths from cancer is recorded in low- and middle-income countries.

For a country like Nigeria, an online medical journal ncbi.nlm.nih.gov puts the prevalence rate of this disease at [2] 66.4 per 100 000 men and 130.6 per 100,000 women. Despite this disease burden, people’s expression about the causes of cancer often reveals knowledge deficit and a gloomy prognosis of the dreaded disease. 

When it comes to cancer, you need to really confirm the source of your information. There are a lot of myths about the causes of cancer. Some people don’t even want to hear about cancer at all, some would say God forbid; ‘cancer is not my portion’, without necessarily undergoing a screening to rule out cancer.

Yes! No one can really predict the future; yet, understanding the prognosis of cancer can absolutely give you an idea of the survival rates. This minute information goes a long way to curbing cancer, do not ignore them.

Accepted, cancer is a dreaded disease. However, the outlook for this disease has greatly improved. According to data from the United States, the survival rate has remarkably improved over time. There has been a recorded increase in the 5-year relative survival rate.  This number represents a sandwich of people diagnosed with cancer in 1975-1977 (48.9%) and people diagnosed with cancer in 2007-2013 (69.2%). According to Wikipedia, these records happen to indicate a 20% decrease in cancer mortality from 1950 to 2014.

Early detection is a panacea to cancer survival rate. Early detection borders on conscious or unconscious efforts made to diagnose cancer as early as possible especially, when no symptoms are present. An effective method of screening involves deliberately searching for cancerous cells or tissue for example a self-breast examination.

CANCER SURVIVAL RATE

Cancer is not contagious, although, some type of bacteria and viruses that can increase your risk of developing cancer. These microbes on the other hand are contagious. By this statement, it means, you can contact them from others who are infected through kissing, touching, having sex or sharing meals for example the HPV.

Transmission of actual cancer cells between humans is rare. Of course in medical science there are always aberrations, you can possibly get a cancer spread to you if you receive an affected organ or tissue from a donor with cancer. And this again is extremely low because anyone with a history of cancer is usually not considered suitable for such donations.

Even though, some contagious forms of cancers are known to occur in mammals of other species example dogs. According to Wikipedia ‘these cancers have a relatively stable genome as they are transmitted’ 

IS CANCER DISEASE HEREDITARY?

CANCER SURVIVAL RATE

Yes! Some types of cancers can be hiding in your gene, common examples of inherited cancer syndromes are hereditary breast-ovarian cancer syndrome and hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer (Lynch syndrome). This type of inherited disorders may present you with a higher-than-normal risk of developing the illness.  

According to expert, as the case may be, if your parent has the faulty gene, each of your siblings including you has a 1 in 2 chance (50%) of inheriting it. however, you or any of your siblings with the faulty gene may or may not develop that particular cancer. But may develop other types of cancers if the predisposing factors abound.

Usually, the culprit is the mutations (changes) in certain genes passed from parents to children making this cancer a type than run within the family.

So, if in essence a close relative of yours had any of this cancer, a wise thing to do is to go for a screening. The days when cancer was hidden or discriminated against are gone. When it comes to hereditary cancer, family history is important in ascertaining your risk level and vulnerability.

You should know that your susceptibility is a lifetime risk and not merely that you are going to develop cancer next week or the next year. Usually, an individual’s risk for cancer is a cascade of other factors, like as age, lifestyle and environmental dynamics.

According to a mayo clinic staff, as a woman,  your lifetime risk of developing colon and rectal cancer is just over 4 per cent, or about 42 out of every 1,000 women. That might be negligible number, but you should know better than to take the possibilities for granted. A wiser thing to do would be routine check-up.

CANCER SURVIVAL RATE | HOW DO YOU PREVENT CANCER?

The exact causes of cancer are not quite clear. Cell replication can be triggered by various factors in different individuals, due to our different genetic make up. Aside from the hereditary factor, some modifications can be made to lifestyle in order to reduce the risks of cancer exposure.

  • Avoid smoking. This includes secondary smoking as well.
  • Drastically minimize alcohol consumption.
  • Avoid unprotected sexual intercourse.
  • Examine breasts for lumps. Note that there are naturally occurring lumps in the breasts, there could be benign ones too. But cancerous ones would be very hard, small, painless and unyielding.
  • Men should report decreased and or painful urination and sexual intercourse (it could be nothing, or it could be a symptom of prostate cancer).
  • Avoid the use of hard drugs that are not prescribed by a physician.
  • Avoid the use of skin shedding body creams. Some of these contain enough chemicals to start a plant and should have no business with the body. Use mild creams and soaps.
  • Limit exposure to radiation as much as possible. For people living in temperate regions, an umbrella would be a good investment.
  • Maintain a proper diet and exercise regimen.
  • Avoid allergens. These could range from the simplest things, like; foods, to the less common, like; copper, gold, silver, steel products. Anaphylactic shock is clearly not the worst allergic reaction. Cell proliferation may occur in extremely rare cases.

There is no clear line between the dos and don’ts to avoid cancer. Being too careful may come across as boring for some people, but isn’t our health a huge priority?

WHY IS EARLY DETECTION OF CANCER IMPORTANT?

cancer survival rate

Early detection is invaluable to cancer survival rate and it’s really important because when abnormal tissue or cancerous cells is found early, it practically improves your chances of survival and makes cancer treatable. According to National Breast Cancer foundation INC, as a woman your 5-years relative survival rate is 100percent if breast cancer is detected early.

It is not wise to wait till symptoms appear. By that time, cancer cells may have begun to spread through the process known as metastasis. This usually makes it harder to treat. You can detect cancer early by undergoing some screening tests.

In some places this test is free. It may include cervical screening for a virus known as HPV (human Papilloma Virus) and have been shown to detect early stages of cervical cancer and therefore reduce the chance of dying from that cancer. This HPV test doesn’t necessarily tell you whether you have cancer or not but detects the presence of HPV which is the virus that causes cervical cancer. Certain species of these viruses for example types 16 and 18 if at large in your system may increase your cervical cancer risk.

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF CANCER SCREENING AVAILABLE?

  • Alpha-fetoprotein blood test – this might be use along with ultrasound of the liver in an attempt to detect liver cancer if you have predisposing factors.
  • Breast MRI – this test utilizes powerful magnets, radio waves, and a computer to create detailed pictures of the inside your body.
  • CA-125 test – used in combination with a trans vaginal ultrasound to attempt detection of ovarian cancer early.
  • Clinical breast exams and regular breast self-exams – done to detect lumps in the breast. Though it has not been shown to reduce breast cancer, it can contribute to early detection.
  • PSA test – this is a simple blood test, which you can do alongside a digital rectal exam to detect prostate cancer early.
  • Skin exams
  • Transvaginal ultrasound – even though there is no data to support its efficient to reduce ovarian cancer, this imaging test create pictures of a woman’s ovaries and uterus and in women who are at increased risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Virtual colonoscopy – This test permits rectal and colon examination from outside the body. 

WHICH CANCER HAS THE WORST SURVIVAL RATE?

Cancer survival rate has remarkably improved over the years. Certain diagnostics yard sticks have been devised to assess the percentage of people who will be alive for example 5-year relative survival rate. For an Illustration, the 5-year relative survival rate for a cervical cancer that was discovered early is 92%. This invariably implies that 92 out of 100 women with early-stage cervical cancer will be alive 5 years after diagnosis.

FIVE YEAR SURVIVAL BY TYPE

Type

Five-year survival rate

Ten year survival rate (If available)

All Cancers

70.1%

52%

Oral cancer

60%

50%

Lip cancer

91%

89%

Hypopharynx cancer

33%

18%

Heart cancer

10%

1%

Esophageal cancer

19%

15%

Stomach cancer

30.6%

28%

Small intestine cancer

67.5%

63%

Colorectal cancer

64.9%

59%

Liver and bile duct cancer

22%

17%

Gallbladder cancer

18.2%

9%

Pancreatic cancer (all types)

8.2%

2.2%

Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor

61%

50%

Laryngeal cancer

60.7%

60%

Lung cancer (all types)

18.1%

7%

Mesothelioma

9%

3%

Tracheal (Windpipe) cancer

52.9%

50%

Bone cancer (all types)

67.7%

56%

Soft tissue, not otherwise specified

64.4%

62%

Skin cancer (excluding basal and squamous)

91.7%

90%

Breast cancer

89.7%

81%

Breast cancer in situ

100%

100%A

Uterine cancer

29.8%-82.7%

74%

Ovarian cancer

46.5%

42%

Cervical cancer

67.1%

61%

Prostate cancer

98.6%

91%

Testicular cancer

95.1%

87%

Bladder cancer

77.3%

71%

Appendix cancer

88%

81%

Renal cancer

74.1%

69%

Ocular cancer

82.7%

79.7%

Brain cancer

33%

12%

Glioblastoma

7%

5% [3]

Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (brain stem)

<1%

0%

Myeloma (plasma blood cell cancer)

52%

18%

Non lymphoma lymph node cancer

48%

39%

Hodgkin’s lymphoma

86.4%

76%

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

71%

52%

Thyroid cancer

98.2%

94.6%

Leukemia, acute lymphocytic

68.2%

51%

Leukemia, acute myelomonocytic

24%

9%

Leukemia, chronic lymphocytic

83.2%

69%

Leukemia, chronic myeloid

66.9%

50%

There is not yet an established cute for cancer, although chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are the acknowledged remedies. While these may be attempted In a bid to cure cancer, cancer has to have been detected early for them to have any effect at all. It is usually best to avoid these procedures altogether, because in a bid to kill off cancerous cells, healthy cells are lost too.

The importance of early detection of cancer cannot be overemphasized. Those at risk of inheriting this deadly disease are advised to lead healthy lifestyles and befriend the numerous detection methods made available by medicine. You do not have the hereditary predisposing factor? Good. Why not do everything to make sure your slim chances of contracting it, stay that way.

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