Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A trip down memory lane

Back in 1971-2, half of all cancer patients lived one year. Now, in the UK at least, half of all cancer 'sufferers' (how is that for a horrible term?) live for ten years. I would assume the rates are similar, or even better in the US. But even in digging around in the National Cancer Institute's website, I could find the data.

The actual quote is:

"The analysis showed that in 1971-2, 50% of people diagnosed with cancer died within a year. Now 50% survive for at least a decade - up from 24% in 1971-2.

But the findings, based on the outcomes for more than 7 million patients, also showed that for some cancers, survival rates were still very low.

For example, just 1% of pancreatic cancer patients and 5% of lung cancer patients can expect to survive for 10 years."

So there is good news and bad news mixed together. But it does show a huge improvement in cancer treatment and research.

The goal is to have it increase to 75% survival rate for ten years. Its not just treatment and research but also screening and earlier diagnosis which have come in to play.

So progress is good. It shows we how far we have come. But we also need to work on the vocabulary. Sufferers? Really?

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