Get Screened Blog

Then And Now: Cancer Survival Statistics 20 Years Ago and Today


The image shows the number of people who survive 5 years or longer after being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. (64.7%)

According to a new study, there has been a significant increase in the number of Americans who survive cancer over the last 20 years.

The study, published February 19th in JAMA Oncology, found that for most leading types of cancer in the U.S., survival rates increased significantly, especially among younger patients diagnosed early. The researchers attribute these declines in death rates to advancements in chemotherapy, radiation, and targeted treatments.

The study shows that patients aged 50-64 diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2005-2009 had a 43 percent lower risk of death than patients of in the same age range diagnosed in 1990-1994. Essentially, patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer today have a 43 percent better chance of survival than those diagnosed twenty years ago.

Although these findings represent a huge win for the cancer community, the study recognized disparities in survival statistics within different age and racial groups. For example, for older patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer between ages 75-85, the risk of death decreased by only 12 percent. Additionally, African Americans had lower cancer survival statistics than whites overall.

As researchers work to identify the reasons for slower improvement in cancer survival for these certain groups, we can do our part to continue this mounting growth in cancer survival by staying up to date with our cancer screenings and adjusting our lifestyles to maintain good health to prevent cancer and other chronic diseases.

Other News From Around the Web

Image Source: SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Colon and Rectum Cancer