More people living longer with invasive cancer

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a study reporting that almost two-thirds of Americans with invasive cancers are living five years or more. After tracking patients who had been diagnosed between 2003 and 2010, researchers determined that 65 percent had reached that five-year mark.

Patients with invasive prostate cancer had the highest rate of long-term survival, with 97 percent, while female breast cancer patients had the second highest with 88 percent. Patients 45 years old or younger had a five-year survival rate of 81 percent.The most fatal type of case, with only an 18 percent survival rate of at least five years, was invasive lung cancer - which can spread to the bones or brain.

Scientists saw a slight gap in survival rate for African-Americans, at 60 percent, compared to 65 percent for white Americans. Researchers say this may be due to the higher prevalence of diseases like diabetes within the African-American community, or more limited access to health care.

These rates have shown a big improvement over the last 40 years. Back then, the five-year survival rate was about half of what it is today. Some, however, have suggested that the survival rates may be exaggerated because some people may not be surviving longer, but have been aware of their cancer longer because of early detection.

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Sourced from: Reuters, Two-thirds in U.S. with invasive cancer live five or more years: study