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Median survival of cancer patients has risen from one to 10 years over past 40 years

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g3011 (Published 29 April 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3011
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

Half of patients who are given a diagnosis of cancer today will survive at least 10 years, whereas only a quarter would have done so 40 years ago, show figures published today by Cancer Research UK.

The charity unveiled the figures as it launched an ambitious 10 year strategy to accelerate progress against cancer still further and set a goal which, in 20 years’ time, would see at least three quarters of all patients with cancer surviving at least10 years after their diagnosis.

In 1971-72 only half of patients with a cancer diagnosis survived for one year. By 2005-06 survival among 50% of patients had risen to five years, and in the next five years it doubled. Predicted survival is 10 years for 50% of patients whose cancer was diagnosed in 2010-11.

To demonstrate this trend, Cancer Research UK analysed details of more than seven million patients …

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