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Two Thirds Of Cancer Patients Live 5 Years Or More After Being Diagnosed

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that about two-thirds of cancer patients survive for five years or more after getting diagnosed.

The CDC revealed that a number of reasons are responsible for the increase in lifespan of cancer patients. However, one of the key factors is early detection and screening for cancer, which has helped doctors to start treatment as early as possible to reduce medical risks.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. followed by cancer. More people are getting cancer but at the same time more people are also getting successful treatment for cancer.

Lisa Richardson, the Director of CDC's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, revealed that about four decades ago cancer survival rate was about half of what it is now.

"Over the years, the trends have been up, and I believe we're going to continue to see those trends," says Richardson.

CDC tracked cancer patients' diagnosis from 2003 to 2010 and discovered that 65 percent cancer patients survived invasive cancer. A program called Healthy People 2020 hopes that the rate increases further to 71.7 percent.

The CDC report suggests that the survival rate of over five years was highest at 81 percent in patients 45 years or younger. The survival rate for breast cancer patients was 88 percent while for prostate cancer patients it was 97 percent.

Invasive lung cancer had the lowest survival rate of 18 percent. Medical experts suggest that lung cancer may spread to bones and brain, which becomes complex for doctors to diagnose.

The CDC report also revealed that survival rates of five years or over also varied by race. Black Americans, who suffered from invasive cancer, had 60 percent survival rate of five years or over. However, white patients had a survival rate of about 65 percent.

Richardson explained that the difference in survival rate is mainly due to the fact that black Americans experience increased rates of chronic illness like type 2 diabetes. Many black Americans often do not have accessibility to quality healthcare.

Richardson also recommends that people who have been diagnosed with invasive cancer should consult their doctors for appropriate screening and treatments. Richardson also advises that a healthy lifestyle that includes appropriate exercise and balanced diet should also help people to reduce the risk of cancer.

Smoking is linked to lung and other cancer and if people quit smoking then they can also reduce their risk to many types of cancer.

Photo: Daniel Voyager | Flickr

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