A cancer survival rate is a statistic reflecting an estimated percentage of chance of surviving a specific cancer. The number is based on reported past cases of the cancer (sometimes including histological type and stage).
The statistical data cannot be used to give an exact prognosis for any one patient. Cancer survival rates are only used to help establish guidelines for a patient’s treatment plan, lifestyle changes, and quality of life.
Cancer survival rates as they relate to a patient’s prognosis are defined in terms of 5-year, 10-year, and sometimes 15-year survival rates. The estimated percentages evaluated for cancer survival rates include cancer patients of all ages, sexes, varying health conditions, as well as, those diagnosed in both early and late stages of cancer.
An example of a 5-year survival rate for a particular cancer that has a survival rate of 10% means that 10 out of 100 patients diagnosed with this specific cancer type survive for a 5-year period. It also means that 90 patients die within the 5-year period.
Different cancer survival rate types
Overall cancer survival rates are based on general statistics and do not account for factors such as whether or not the patients are in remission or undergoing cancer treatment. There are other survival rate types that are more specific such as, disease-free survival rate and progression-free survival rates.
The disease-free survival rate is the percentage of patients that are in remission and no longer show signs of cancer. The progression-free survival rate is the percentage that have cancer, but do not show any signs that the cancer is progressing. This group also includes cancer patients that have had successful treatment but who still have cancer in their bodies. You don’t see these statistics for mesothelioma patients, partly because malignant mesothelioma is such a rare disease that there aren’t enough people in those categories to make the statistic meaningful. More.
Using cancer survival rates data
Cancer survival rate data are used to help cancer patients and their doctors understand the patients’ prognosis, the severity of their condition, and their chances of going into remission. The data lets doctors know how other cancer patients responded to a particular treatment type for the same cancer type at a particular stage. This information also helps patients and their doctors determine the best treatment plan by examining factors such as possible side effects and a general probability of remission.
Since the cancer survival rate data is based on overall statistics, it is limited and can only give patients an estimate of their outcome. It cannot give specific prognosis information because it does not consider other specific health conditions that may have an impact on the chances of cancer survival. Other limitations of cancer survival rate information include the fact that it doesn’t take into account patients that may have undergone successful treatments in recent times. This is because their information is not available in the outcomes data until at least five-years have passed. This means cancer patients dealing with important treatment decisions today won’t have this information available to them while making their critical treatment choices.
Cancer survival rates by themselves shed no light on the best treatment plan for patients. Physicians and their mesothelioma patients have to decide what factors are most important in their individual cases such as side effects, probability of remission, other health conditions, and treatment schedules and costs.