A major new study on cancer survival rates has been published by Cancer Research UK, with all of the major media outlets picking up on the huge increase in relative survival rates since the 1970’s. Great news that shows the progress made through years of research into the different cancers.
But with these things it is always important to look past the bigger picture, and look at the specific detail. 21 cancers were measured in the study carried out by a team led by Professor Michel Coleman. For 10 year survival, bottom of the table comes Pancreas cancer at a 2.8% survival rate, with Lung cancer just above at 5%. Compare that for example to Prostate cancer, where the 10 year survival rate is 68.5%. Clearly these are huge variations. The 5 year survival rate has a similar picture, with Pancreas cancer a 4% survival rate, Lung cancer around 9%, and Prostate cancer 81%.
Mesothelioma comes within the lung cancer figures, and arguably whilst the overall trend is positive, the low percentage survival rates for lung cancer and pancreas cancer highlight the need for increased research to begin to close the substantial percentage survival gaps that exist with most of the other 21 cancers surveyed.