Five points showing a brighter outlook for cancer patients

Brighter Outlooks For Cancer Patients

12.13.13 | By

It’s hard to see the silver lining when it comes to cancer, as many view the disease as a devastating prognosis. And while cancer can take a serious toll on patients and their loved ones, they should know that tremendous strides are being made in the research and development of new cancer medicines that are allowing patients to lead longer, healthier lives. Here are just a few reasons why cancer patients today should feel more hopeful:

  • Since 1980, life expectancy for cancer patients has increased three years, and 83 percent of these gains are attributable to new treatments, including medicines.
  • The chance of survival for children with cancer has “improved markedly over the past 30 years due to new and improved treatments,” according to the American Cancer Society. The five year relative survival rate went from 58 percent in the mid-1970s to 83 percent today.
  • The number of cancer survivors in the U.S. is on the rise. According to the CDC, there are 13.7 million cancer survivors in the U.S., an increase from 9.8 million in 2001 and 3 million in 1971.
  • The chances that a cancer patient will live five years or longer has increased by 39 percent across cancers. In the years 1975 – 1977, the five year survival rate was 49 percent. By the years 2002 – 2008, survival rose to 68 percent.
  • There are more than 3,000 medicines in development for cancer globally. Of these medicines, about 80 percent of them are for medicines that have the potential to be first-in-class treatments.

Progress against cancer doesn’t typically happen in a single breakthrough, but rather in step-wise gains of knowledge along the way. The information that has been gained during the discovery process is helping transform how we view and treat cancer, providing greater hope for cancer patients and their loved ones.

For more information about cancer medicines in development, check out this page.

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