What are the factors that determine cancer survival rates?
In the previous blog posts we have seen that there has been an overall improvement in the cancer survival rates and seen in a recent posts the funding that goes to the various cancers. In this conclusive post we explore what is behind the statistics to find out what determines survival rates so that any funding will best target and improve more positive outcomes.
According to Webster Kerr of the Independent Cancer Research Foundation, there are several factors that contribute to survival rates these are
1. Type of cancer: The type of cancer makes a huge difference. Cancers of the outward organs like breast, pancreas, testicular, skin, throat, etc where the tumor is localized and is easier to operate, then the survival rate of the individual is higher with these sorts of cancer. The key factor however, is that as long as they have not metastasized outside their primary location. Cancers of the liver, lungs and pancreas are more difficult to operate on. Pancreas has a particular problem because cancer cells can be combated by enzymes produced in the pancreas. If that is unavailable, it makes the cancer spread more easily
2. Awareness: There is an increase awareness of what we should do to minimize our risk of cancer, such as better diet, not smoking, limiting intake of alcohol, taking adequate sunlight etc. These factors also help extend the lives of cancer sufferers
3. Improvement in surgical treatment: There a marked improvement in surgical interventions, especially when the cancer is caught early. However, according to Webster Kerr treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy has not improved either the cure rate or the survival rate of cancer patients since the 1970’s
4. The use of complementary/alternative therapies. More people are turning to complementary and alternative therapies to improve not just to improve their survival rate, but to give them a better quality of life.
From these we can see where funding should better target its resources to further improve cancer survival rate till such a time when a cure is found.