Trends in Cancer Survival Rate

(3/11/21)- The U. S. Preventative Services Task Force is now advising people ages 50 to 80 to get a CT screening if they have averaged smoking a pack of cigarettes daily for 20 years, and currently smoke or have quit smoking within the past 15 years. In 2013 the panel had recommended getting the CT scan if they smoked an average of a pack a day for 30 years.

The slight change by the panel was based on accumulated evidence from 233 published studies, with the largest being the National Lung Screening Trial in the U.S. , with over 53,000 people enrolled.

The federal Medicare program has agreed with the recommendation, according to a panel member. ĎPrivate insurers will be required to include free CT screening, under terms of the Affordable Care Act.

(1/14/21)- The latest data from the American Cancer Society showed that the death rate from cancer in the U.S. dropped 2.3% from 2017 to 2018, the biggest single decline in history. It was the second year in a row with a record setting drop. The results were published in a recent edition of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Cancer mortality rate has fallen 31% since its peak in 1991, according to the report, and was responsible for over 300,000 deaths in 1918.

The researchers analyzed data from 1930 through 2018. Cancer continues to be the number 2 cause of death in the U.S., trailing only heart failure.

Mortality rates fell for the most common causes of cancer- lung, breast, prostate and colorectal. The 2-year survival rate for lung cancer has increased from 30% in 2009-2010 to 36% in 2017 to 2018.

(2/11/19)- We at therubins want to thank Jemma of Coupon Chief for her email pointing out the link to this excellent site about dealing with the financial issues associated with being diagnosed with cancer. Obviously, the mental and medical issues first come to mind but how about the financial issues? Thank you Jemma for your persistence.

Hereís her email containing the link:

ďHi again,

Happy New Year! :)

Iím Jemma from Coupon Chief. Just wanted to ask if you received my email about our guide to financial resources for cancer patients. Iím resending it in case you didnít (please see below). I hope you donít mind if I include a link here Ė thought you might want to see it first:



(9/2/06)- Recently, we have had a number of individuals ask us about survival rates in patients with various types of cancer. After explaining how much variance exists in the data around this subject and the criteria used to evaluate the changes that were occurring, we based our answer on a paper that appeared in the Journal of Internal Medicine (2006; 260:103-117) written by PW Dickman and HO Adami of the Karolinski Institute, Stockholm Sweden, from which the following information was abstracted.

The good news is the survival rates for breast cancer "have improved gradually, but importantly over several decades. The main contribution comes from early diagnosis by means of mammography screening and from widespread use of systematic adjuvant treatment with chemotherapy, anti-estrogen or both".

The same would seem true for rectal cancer survival rates. This real progress appears due to improved surgical technique and from preoperative radiotherapy.

For prostate cancer, "there is no empirical evidence for any true underlying upward trend in prostate cancer incidence, [yet] the annual number of newly diagnosed cases has almost doubled in little more than a decade in the United States of America".

The bad news is that there appears to be a lack of therapeutic progress for lung and pancreatic cancer. "Amongst lung cancer patients, the 5-year relative survival remained virtually horizontal while the mortality rate closely mimicked the incidence rate". This is despite the proven relationship between smoking and lung cancer and all the money poured into educating the public about this relationship.

The survival rate for pancreatic cancer is even more elusive. It is less preventable as opposed to lung cancer. It is surgically less accessible and metastasizes rather early, making for elusive curative treatment. Dickman and Adami indicate: "Over a 25-year period, 5-year relative survival varied little around 5%".

As scientists begin to understand more about the underlying process of tumor growth and the etiology of the pathological dynamics, we can begin to see trends that show more positive survival rates. They are beginning to apply the detailed recognition and processing of clinically useful therapeutic agents to the treatment of cancer.

They are designing better ways to deliver drugs, particularly drugs based on proteins to their specific target. For example, by discovering that tumor cells tend to express more folate receptors than normal cells, they can start developing anticancer dendrimers -a polymer in which the atoms are arranged in many branches and subbranches along a central backbone of carbon atoms (Also called cascade molecule)- in which targeting is achieved through covalent addition of folic acid.


Harold Rubin, MS, ABD, CRC, Guest Lecturer
March 11, 2021


To e-mail: 5or

Return to Home