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Record high cancer survival provides hope for Victorians living with cancer this Daffodil Day

Wednesday 22 August, 2012

The five-year survival for Victorians with cancer has increased to a record high of 65%, according to a report released by Cancer Council Victoria today.

The report – Cancer Survival Victoria 2012 (PDF 1mb)  – shows not only has five-year cancer survival improved significantly from 47% to 65% over the past 20 years, but that gains continue to be made with an increase of five percentage points (from 60%) over the past five years.

Cancer Council Victoria CEO, Todd Harper said the improved survival rates highlight how much progress has been made in the fight against cancer over the past 20 years.

“The increase in overall survival is evidence we are getting better at treating, detecting and preventing cancer and provides hope for the 78 people diagnosed with cancer across Victoria each day,” he said.

The report was released at an event to launch this year’s Daffodil Day, which appropriately has the theme Grow Hope.

“The significant gains we have seen would not have been possible without the generosity of the entire Victorian community,” said Mr Harper. “Last year alone, Victorians contributed over $2 million on Daffodil Day to support life-saving research, prevention and support programs.”

“With the community’s support this Friday, 24 August, we can work together to grow a better future for all Victorians.”

Mr Harper cautioned that while survival rates are at a record high, there is no room for complacency.

“There is still much work to be done – no cancer has a 100% five-year survival and almost one in three Victorians each year are diagnosed with cancers that are entirely preventable,” he said.

“We also know that due to the combined effect of an ageing and a growing population, the number of Victorians diagnosed each year is increasing, with the number of annual cases projected to increase from just over 28,000 in 2010 to over 43,000 in 2025.”

The cancers with the highest five-year survival are testicular, thyroid, prostate and melanoma, which all have five-year survival above 90%, while those with the lowest five-year survival are pancreatic cancer and mesothelioma, which both have five-year survival of 6%.

What is five-year survival?

Put simply, the five-year survival figures show the estimated proportion of Victorians with a particular cancer in 2006-2010 who have survived at least five years from their diagnosis.

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