Treating Cancers, High Survival Rates
Curing cancer continues to be a major mission in healthcare. It’s not there yet.
Detection is key
While researchers work diligently to achieve that elusive goal, it is important for healthcare providers and patients to detect and treat the disease early on. In that way, they can significantly improve a person’s condition and help them look forward and have fulfilling lives, researchers say.
High survival rates
While searching for cures, researchers say many cancers are treatable and have high survival rates. Scientists say that cancers with the highest 5-year relative survival rates include melanoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and breast, prostate, testicular, cervical and thyroid cancers.
Five-year survival is a measurement that researchers use about a percentage of people who are expected to survive for a certain amount of time, depending on the cancer. Cancer also is listed in stages, which reflects “where it is located, how fast it has spread and how aggressive it is,” according to the Mayo Clinic. It doesn’t mean one person will only live that only five years. In fact many people could have many years of survival.
For some cancers, if they have not reoccurred five years after initial diagnosis, the chance of a later recurrence is very small. That’s why continued diagnosis is so important.
The stage of cancer also determines how the cancer is treated. Successful treatment can result in cancer going into remission, which means all its signs are gone. Cancer can return after remission.
“The natural history of each cancer and its survivability differs widely,” says Patricia Ganz, MD, director of the division of cancer prevention and control research at UCLA’s Johnson Comprehensive Cancer Center. She says “ cancer cells with short, reproductive doubling times such as testicular cancer and some leukemias, may be more apt to reach the level of medical cure after five years, “ according to Cure Today
The article says: “For instance, if a testicular cancer patient is treated an two years later has a tumor marker test, and there’s no evidence of cancer coming back, then, for all intents and purposes, he is cured. This cancer is not going to come back.”
Cancer causes cells to grow and can spread into other parts. As a result, cancer can have a severe impact on the surrounding tissues and other organs. It is considered the leading cause of death in the U.S.
The cancers with the highest survival rate include
Breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer of women. It is estimated that one in eight women will develop breast cancer over a lifetime. In stage 1 breast cancer, tiny tumors are present. Death rates have been decreasing because of treatment advances, including earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, according to BreastCancer.org
Prostate cancer is among the most common cancers in men, other than skin cancer. The cancers grow very slowly and sometimes not at all. Prostate cancers have a 99 percent 5-year relative survival rate at stages 1 and 2. Although it can be a serious disease, prostate cancer is not considered fatal to most men, according to Cancer.Org
Melanoma is a cancer of the skin, which has a high survival rate because it is easy to detect. It is the most predominant of cancers. Early detection and treatment especially increases a person’s survival chances. Without early detection, it can spread beneath the skin and removal is more difficult, according to melanoma.org
The average age at the time of diagnosis for testicular cancer is about 33. Doctors can cure testicular cancer during its early stages before the tumor has spread to other body parts. Because testicular cancer usually can be treated successfully, a man’s lifetime risk of dying from this cancer is very low, about 1 in 5,000.
The thyroid is a gland in the neck that produces hormones to support healthy bodily functions. Papillary, the most common type of thyroid cancer, grows slowly. Even when the cancer spreads into surrounding tissues in the throat, removing the thyroid gland can be effective in getting rid of the cancer. Thyroid cancer has a 5-year survival rate of 98 to 100 percent at stages 1 and 2, according to thyca.org
Lymphomas are cancers that start in white blood cells called lymphocytes. Hodgkin lymphoma has a 5-year relative survival rate of about 90 percent at stages 1 and 2. Experts say the high survival rate of Hodgkin lymphoma is the result of its response to treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation, according to cancer.org
Most cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus, a common HPV virus that can be passed from one person to another through sexual activity. It can be present for years without causing any symptoms. Early detection allows physicians to treat potentially cancerous cells before they spread to other areas of the body. Cervical cancer has a 93 percent survival rate at early stages, according to nfc.org
National Foundation For Cancer Research: Attention Women: 6 Must-Know Facts About Cervical Cancer. 2018 Retrieved from: https://www.nfcr.org/blog/attention-women-6-must-know-facts-about-cervical-cancer/
Julie Marks. Reviewed by Thomas Marron, MD, PhD. EverdayHealth. After a Cancer Diagnosis Comes the ‘Staging.” Retrieved from: https://www.everydayhealth.com/cancer/guide/after-cancer-diagnosis-comes-staging/
Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic Staff. Cancer Survival Rate: What it means for your prognosis. 2019. Retrieved from:https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/in-depth/cancer/art-20044517
Curtis Pesmen. Cure. What Five Years Really Means. 2007. Retrieved from: https://www.curetoday.com/publications/cure/2007/spring2007/what-five-years-really-means
Lizette Borreli. Medical Daily. 2016. Testicular Cancer and 6 Other Curable ancers With the Best 5-Year Survival Rate. Retrieved from: https://www.medicaldaily.com/testicular-cancer-and-6-other-curable-cancers-best-5-year-survival-rate-401374
Aaron Kandola. Medical News Today. 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322700.php
Breastcancer.org. U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics: Retrieved from https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics
American Cancer Society. What is Hodgkin Lymphoma? Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/hodgkin-lymphoma/about/what-is-hodgkin-disease.html
ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association Inc. Facts about Thyroid Cancer. Retrieved from: http://www.thyca.org/about/thyroid-cancer-facts/
Melanoma Research Foundation. Melanoma Facts and Stats. Retrieved from: https://www.melanoma.org/understand-melanoma/what-melanoma/melanoma-facts-and-stats
American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Prostate Cancer. Retrieved from:
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