Until recently, cancer has been the worst possible diagnosis one could receive. However, according to recent cancer survival rates, some cancers are easier to beat today than 10 years ago.
If you’re diagnosed with cancer or have someone in your family who’s fighting this disease, check out what the latest numbers say. The chances of survival might be higher than you think.
Cancer Facts (Editor’s Choice)
- By 2040, there could be up to 24.5 million new cancer cases
- The highest level of five-year survival rate for gastrointestinal cancers occurred in Southeast Asia
- Cancer survival rates for breast cancer in stage 0 or 1 are 99% to 100%
- The five-year survival rate for localized and regional prostate cancer is 100%
- Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US
- There’s a new lung cancer diagnosis every 2.2 minutes
- Chondrosarcoma makes up over 40% of primary bone sarcomas in adults
- A man’s lifetime risk of dying from testicular cancer is one in 5,000
Cancer Statistics Worldwide
Cancer is among the leading causes of death globally. However, as the global population grows, so does the number of cancer diagnoses. Additionally, cancer facts show that the most common types of cancers are breast, lung, colon, rectum, and prostate cancers.
1. Cancer accounts for about 10 million deaths globally.
According to the latest numbers, cancer is among the leading causes of death globally. It accounts for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020, or approximately one in six deaths. About one-third of cancer-related deaths are from tobacco use, but HPV is also related to about 30% of cancer cases.
2. About 13% of cancers diagnosed in 2018 were caused by carcinogenic infections.
Some infections are a risk factor for cancer. For example, 13% of cancer diagnoses from 2018 were attributed to carcinogenic infections. This included Helicobacter pylori, HPV, hepatitis B and C, and a few other viruses.
3. By 2040, there could be up to 24.5 million new cancer cases and 16.3 million deaths.
Based on the latest prognoses, by 2040, there could be up to 24.5 million new cancer cases and 16.3 million deaths worldwide. However, these numbers may be a result of a growing and aging population.
Cancer Survival Rates by Country
Cancer survival rates vary by country, the type of cancers, and the medical treatments available to patients. For example, Australia and the US have a high survival rate for breast cancer, while Southeast Asia has the highest level of survivors from gastrointestinal cancers.
4. The five-year survival rate for breast cancer in women reached 89.5% in Australia and 90.2% in the US.
Australia and the US have some of the highest percentages of breast cancer survivors. The five-year survival rate is 89.5% in Australia and over 90% in the US. Still, the numbers are relatively low in other countries. For example, in India, the survival rate is around 66.1%.
5. The highest level of five-year survival rate for gastrointestinal cancers occurred in Southeast Asia.
When it comes to the survival rates for gastrointestinal cancers, the highest percentage is noticeable in Southeast Asia. South Korea has a 68.9% survival rate for stomach cancer, 71.8% for colon cancer, and 71.1% for rectum cancer. Unfortunately, Southeast Asia has some of the lowest numbers when it comes to melanoma, lymphoid malignancies, and myeloid malignancies.
6. The five-year survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia is 95.2% in Finland.
On the other hand, Finland has a 95.2% five-year survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia diagnosed in children. The US has an 89.5% survival rate for the same disease, while Ecuador is on the lower end of the list, with only a 49.8% survival rate.
Cancer Survival Rates by Type
Unfortunately, not all cancers can be cured. However, the sooner the disease is diagnosed, the higher the chances of full cancer remission. For example, lung cancer remains among the deadliest ones, while early-diagnosed breast, prostate, or testicular cancer has almost 100% five-year survival rates.
7. The five-year survival rate for breast cancer in stage 0 or 1 is 99% to 100%.
When breast cancer is discovered early, it has the highest chance of going into full remission. According to the numbers, the five-year relative survival rate for breast cancer in stages 0 and 1 is 99% to 100%.
8. Prostate, testicular, and thyroid cancer discovered in early phases also have about 99% survival rates.
The five-year survival rate for prostate, testicular, and thyroid cancer in their first stages is also high—99%. What’s more, doctors aren’t worried about prostate cancers that don’t grow. Testicular cancers are easy to remove, and thyroid cancers grow slowly, which gives enough time for treatment.
9. Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer, with 131,880 estimated deaths in 2021.
Unfortunately, lung cancer remains one of the deadliest cancers, with 131,880 estimated deaths in 2021. This is due to the fact that many people get diagnosed in the late stages of the disease, which doesn’t allow enough time for treatment.
Colon Cancer Survival Rate
Colon cancer begins in the large intestine. It typically affects older adults, but it can appear at any age. It usually starts as benign polyps that can later turn into colon cancer. The main symptoms of this cancer include abdominal discomfort, rectal bleeding, or weight loss. Depending on the stage, the survival rate for this type of cancer can be about 80%.
10. The five-year survival rate for colon cancer averages at about 80%, depending on the stage.
When it comes to colorectal cancers, the five-year survival rate averages at about 80%, depending on the stage of cancer and its location. Overall, people with colon cancer that’s localized have about a 91% survival rate, while those with localized rectal cancer have an 89% rate.
11. The five-year relative survival rate for rectal cancer is 67%.
The five-year relative survival rate for rectal cancer averages at 67% for all SEER stages combined. Distant SEER stage means 16% survival rate and regional means 72% survival rate. However, these numbers depend on the patient.
12. There were about 52,580 colorectal cancer deaths in the US in 2021.
The latest estimates show there were about 52,980 colorectal cancer deaths in the US in 2021. Additionally, colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the US for both genders.
Prostate Cancer Survival Rate
Prostate cancer is among the most common types of cancers. Some types of prostate cancers grow slowly, and others are very aggressive. When it comes to the survival rates, prostate cancer that’s detected early has a high chance of going into remission after treatments.
13. The five-year survival rate for localized and regional prostate cancer is 100%.
Prostate cancer has a high relative five-year survival rate in the first two stages. Both localized and regional prostate cancer have nearly 100% rates, while distant ones have about 30% survival rate. All SEER stages combined have about a 98% survival rate.
14. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US.
Still, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US, excluding skin cancer. Globally, it’s the second leading cause of death in men. Approximately one in eight US men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and the incidents increase with age.
15. About 94 men in the US die from prostate cancer daily.
What’s more, about 94 men in the US die from prostate cancer each day. This is why early prevention is the key to curing this disease. Many men with low-risk tumors and some men with intermediate risk tumors can safely be monitored without immediate treatment.
Lung Cancer Survival Rate
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths globally. Smokers have a higher chance of getting lung cancer. There are two types of lung cancers, and both have poor survival rates. Some of the common symptoms of lung cancer include chest pain and coughing out blood.
16. The average five-year survival rate for people diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer is 25%.
The average five-year survival rate for people diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer in all SEER stages combined is 25%. If cancer is localized, the rates are about 63%, and if the SEER stage is distant, the relative survival rates drop to only 7%.
17. The average five-year survival rate for people diagnosed with small cell lung cancer is 7%.
Regarding small cell lung cancer, the average survival rate for all SEER stages combined is only 7%. Localized lung cancer has a survival rate of 27% and distant only 3%, which makes this cancer one of the deadliest cancers out there.
18. There’s a new lung cancer diagnosis every 2.2 minutes.
Unfortunately, there’s a new lung cancer diagnosis every 2.2 minutes. One in 16 US citizens will get this diagnosis in their lifetime. What’s more, close to 65% of lung cancer diagnoses are among those people who never smoked or are former smokers.
Liver Cancer Survival Rate
There are several types of cancers that can form in the liver, with the most common type being hepatocellular carcinoma. Still, cancer that spreads to the liver is more common than cancer that starts in the liver.
19. The five-year survival rate averages at 20% for all stages combined.
Besides lung cancer, liver cancer also has low relative survival rates. The five-year survival rate for liver cancer averages at 20% for all SEER stages combined. The survival rate for localized liver cancer is 34% and 12% for regional. The distant SEER stage gives only a 3% relative survival rate.
20. About 42,230 people were diagnosed with liver cancer in the US in 2021.
According to the latest estimates, 42,230 people were diagnosed with liver cancer in the US in 2021, and the incidence of liver cancer has more than tripled since the 1980s. Men are also three times more likely to get diagnosed than women.
21. There were about 30,230 deaths in 2021 from liver cancer in the US.
For men, liver cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death. For women, it’s the seventh most common cause of cancer-related death. The overall numbers related to liver cancer deaths have doubled since the 1980s.
Ovarian Cancer Survival Rate
There are three types of ovarian cancers, based on where cancer begins, with epithelial ovarian cancer being the most common one. Old age, genetics, and family history play a key role in developing these cancers. Still, the five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer in the first stage is 90%.
22. The relative five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer in stage 1 is 90%.
When it comes to ovarian cancer, the survival rate depends on its stage. If it’s discovered in the first stage, the survival rate is about 90%. The 1A, 1B, and 1C stages have 94%, 92%, 85% relative survival rates, respectively.
23. The relative five-year survival rate for localized fallopian tube cancer is 95%.
The relative five-year survival rate for localized fallopian tube cancer is 95%, while regional and distant SEER stages have 53% and 45% survival rates, respectively. All SEER stages combined have a 57% rate.
24. The average relative five-year survival rate for all types of ovarian cancers combined is 80%.
When it comes to all types of ovarian cancers and their relative survival rates combined, it comes down to an 80% rate. However, not all ovarian cancers have this high percentage.
Bladder Cancer Survival Rate
Bladder cancer most commonly begins in the cells that line the inside of the bladder. The good news is that this type of cancer is usually diagnosed early when it’s highly treatable. Unfortunately, many bladder cancers may come back even after successful treatment.
25. The average relative five-year survival rate for bladder cancer is 77%.
Overall, the average relative five-year survival rate for bladder cancer is 77%. Still, the numbers depend on the cancer stage. For example, the survival rate of patients with bladder cancer that has not spread beyond the inner layer of the bladder is 96%. Luckily, more than half of the patients are diagnosed at this stage.
26. Bladder cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the US.
Bladder cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the US, representing 4.5% of all new cancers in the States. In 2020, there were about 81,400 new cases, which resulted in 17,980 deaths in the same year.
27. About 20% of newly diagnosed bladder cancers are muscle-invasive.
Muscle-invasive bladder cancer is the type of cancer that has already spread inside the bladder, and it’s more likely to expand in other areas of the body. Unfortunately, about 20% of new diagnoses are with this type of bladder cancer.
Stomach Cancer Survival Rate
This type of cancer develops slowly and may take several years to become noticeable. In addition, stomach cancer can be located in different areas of the stomach, which may cause different symptoms and outcomes of the disease. The cancer location also affects the type of treatment.
28. The five-year relative survival rate for stomach cancer across all stages is 32%.
With all SEER stages combined, the relative survival rate for stomach cancer is about 32%. However, the localized stage has about 70%, regional 32%, and distant only 6% survival rate. This makes stomach cancer one of the worst kinds of cancers.
29. If stomach cancer is discovered in the early stage and can be removed, the five-year survival rate is over 90%.
However, if this type of cancer has spread to the surrounding areas of the stomach, the five-year survival rate drops to 28%.
30. After the diagnosis of stomach cancer, 31.5% of people survive for the next five years.
About 31.5% of people live five years or longer after a stomach cancer diagnosis. This data is based on the National Cancer Institute’s SEER database. The stomach cancer prognosis depends on how far the tumor has spread and whether it got into some of the lymph nodes.
Survival Rate of Bone Cancer
Bone cancer most commonly affects long bones of arms and legs, but it can be found in any body part. Bone cancers are rare and account for 1% of all cancer diagnoses.
31. The five-year relative survival rate for both bone cancer types with all SEER stages combined is about 80%.
There are two types of bone cancers—chondrosarcoma and chordoma. The average survival rate for all SEER stages combined for these two types of cancers is around 80%. Chondrosarcoma with all stages combined has a 78% rate, and chordoma has 82%.
32. In 2021, there were about 2,060 bone cancer deaths in the US.
Overall, less than 0.2% of cancers are primary bone sarcoma. It’s more common for bones to become the place of metastasis from cancer that started in another body part. Regardless, there were 2,060 deaths in the US related to this primary sarcoma in 2021.
33. Chondrosarcoma accounts for over 40% of primary bone sarcomas in adults.
Even though bone cancer often affects children, chondrosarcoma makes up about 40% of primary bone sarcomas among adults. The next most common type of bone cancer in adults is osteosarcoma, diagnosed in 28% of cases. The average age for diagnosis is 51.
Brain Cancer Survival Rate
There are different types of brain cancers, and the majority are benign. The growth of a brain tumor varies based on the patient. However, the speed of growth and its location determine how it will affect the nervous system.
34. About 71% of all brain tumors are benign.
Estimates show that about 700,000 Americans live with a primary brain tumor. About 71% of them are benign, and 39% are malignant. Approximately 58% of brain tumors occur in women, and 42% of brain tumors occur in men. The median age for brain tumor diagnosis is 61.
35. The average survival rate for patients with primary brain tumors is 75.7%.
Survival rates vary by age and decrease as the person gets older. In general, the average survival rate for all primary brain tumor patients is 75.7%. When it comes to non-malignant brain tumor patients, the rate goes up to 91.8%, and for malignant patients, it drops to 35.6%.
36. The five-year survival rate for people younger than 15 is over 75%.
Based on the numbers related to patients younger than 15, the five-year relative survival rate is higher than 75%. For comparison, for people aged 40 and over, it’s about 21%.
Throat Cancer Survival Rate
When it comes to throat cancer, the survival rate depends on its type and the treatment. Overall, throat cancer can develop in the throat or the voice box. However, most throat cancers are made out of the same types of cells.
37. The five-year relative survival rate for oral cavity and pharynx cancer is 83.7% for localized cancer.
The five-year survival rate for oral cavity and pharynx cancer is around 83.7% for localized types of cancers. For these types of cancers that are diagnosed regionally, the survival rate is 65%. If these cancers are distant, the rate drops to 39.1%.
38. There were about 3,770 deaths due to throat cancer in 2021.
Estimates show there were about 3,770 deaths related to throat cancer in 2021, while there were 12,620 adults who received this diagnosis in the US. The five-year survival rate for laryngeal cancer is about 61%.
39. Approximately 53% of patients are diagnosed and treated before cancer spreads out.
The good thing is that 53% of patients are diagnosed before cancer spreads outside the larynx. In these cases, the five-year survival rate is 78%. In cases where cancer has spread to the surrounding tissues and the lymph nodes, the five-year survival rate drops to 45%.
Testicular Cancer Survival Rate
Testicular cancer is rare when compared to other types of cancers. However, it’s the most common cancer in Americans aged 15 to 35. The good thing is that it’s highly treatable, even if it spreads beyond the testicles.
40. Estimates show there will be 9,910 testicular cancer diagnoses in the US during 2022.
According to the American Cancer Society, there will be about 9,910 testicular cancer diagnoses in the US during 2022. Out of those 9,910, 460 will be deadly. Still, testicular cancer is not common, as about one in 250 males will develop it during their lifetime.
41. A man’s lifetime risk of dying from testicular cancer is one in 5,000.
Since testicular cancer can be treated successfully, chances of dying are also low and stand at about one in 5,000. Still, these numbers are based on how far cancer has spread and depend on the type of treatment.
42. The five-year survival rate for all SEER stages combined is 95%.
Overall, the five-year survival rate for all SEER stages is 95%. If the cancer is localized, the rate is 99%. If it’s regional, the rate is 96%, and if it’s distant, the survival rate drops to about 73%.
Uterine Cancer Survival Rate
This type of cancer is typically discovered at an early stage since it causes abnormal vaginal bleeding. Surgical removal of the cancer is the most common approach.
43. The five-year survival rate for patients in stage one of uterine cancer is 90%.
In general, the survival rate for patients in stage one of uterine cancer, when the cancer cells haven’t spread to any surrounding tissue, is about 90%. This is the most common cancer that affects the female reproductive system. It starts when healthy cells start growing and develop a tumor.
44. The five-year survival rate for endometrial cancer with all SEER stages combined is 81%.
When it comes to all SEER stages combined for uterine cancer, the five-year survival rate is 81%. However, if cancer has spread regionally, the survival rate is 69%. If it’s distant, the rate drops to 17%.
45. Recurrent uterine cancer is most likely to return within three years after diagnosis.
Recurrent uterine cancer could happen within three years of a diagnosis. If cancer returns, it will most likely be present in the uterus, pelvis, or abdominal lymph nodes. Unfortunately, it’s also possible to develop a second cancer, depending on the type of uterine cancer that was cured.
Cancer Survival Rates by Age
While cancer is a danger for all ages, some age groups are more prone to developing cancer. For example, the median age for a cancer prognosis is 66. However, some types of cancer can still be present among children, such as leukemias, neuroblastomas, and brain and spinal cord tumors.
46. Globally, about 1% of people aged 70 and over die from cancer annually.
At the moment, cancer kills mostly older people. About 1% of people aged 70 and over die from cancer each year. Those that are younger than 50 have a cancer-related death rate that’s 40 times lower.
47. Leukemias account for 28% of all cancers among children.
Leukemias are the most common types of cancers among children, and they account for 28% of all cancer diagnoses in the younger population. The most common types of cancers among children are lymphocytic leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia, which grows fast and needs to be treated immediately.
48. The median age for a cancer diagnosis is 66 years.
Based on the most recent statistics, the median age for a cancer diagnosis is 66. What’s more, a similar pattern is noticed among some of the common types of cancers. For example, the median age for breast cancer is 66, for colorectal cancer, it’s 67, and lung cancer is commonly diagnosed in people aged 71.
Even though cancer survival rates depend on the type of cancer, its SEER stage, and the patient’s age, cancer is still one of the leading causes of death globally. However, not all cancer diagnoses are the same.
Lung cancer, liver cancer, and stomach cancers are among the worst kinds, while breast and testicular cancer have high five-year relative survival rates. Overall, the sooner the cancer is diagnosed, the higher the chances of recovery are. Unfortunately, some cancers, like the uterine, may become recurrent.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Over one million women go through breast biopsies each year in the US. Approximately 20% of core needle breast biopsies return a breast cancer diagnosis. This means there are about 200,000 women that are diagnosed with breast cancer annually.
On the other hand, this shows that about 80% of core needle biopsies return a negative result, meaning that most women who have breast biopsies don’t end up diagnosed with breast cancer.
The five-year survival rate is taken into account when talking about cancer statistics. Based on the latest data, cancer with the lowest survival rate is pancreatic cancer. This type of cancer has only a 10.8% five-year relative survival rate.
Pancreatic cancer begins in the digestive system, and digestive system cancers are known as the deadliest ones. Depending on its stage, doctors may treat pancreatic cancer with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy.
According to CDC reports, about 10% to 20% of all smokers get lung cancer. What’s more, experts believe that smoking is responsible for 80% of lung cancers, and smokers who are diagnosed with lung cancer may die young if the disease is not treated properly.
Additionally, smoking is considered to be a high-risk factor for lung cancer in nine out of 10 people. Still, the possibility of developing lung cancer depends on the person’s smoking habits.
All cancer diagnoses are hard to handle. However, some seem to be better than others. The most aggressive cancers are lung, colorectal, and breast cancer. Leukemia spreads the fastest, and those cancers that reach the bones are the most painful ones.
Overall, as soon as cancer progresses to higher stages, it’s becoming more difficult to cure. Still, stage 4 cancers aren’t always terminal. They might need a more aggressive approach and treatments.
There’s no specific timeline that doctors can assign to any type of cancer. Some cancers, like breast and bowel tumors, start growing about 10 years before they’re diagnosed. Others can be a few decades old before they’re noticed.
Additionally, there’s no way to determine how long cancer will last once it’s diagnosed. It all depends on the therapy, the overall health of the patient, and many other factors. However, if you remain in complete remission for five years, some doctors may say you’re cured. Keep in mind that cancer survival rates are different for everyone.