The “rather not know” attitude by people with cancer in Australia poses the greatest risk to surviving the disease, says the Cancer Institute NSW.
The institute’s chief cancer officer and CEO, Professor David Currow, said a person diagnosed with the disease today has a 64 per cent chance of beating it, which is up from 49 per cent in the ’80s.
However, early detection messages were still not being heeded and some people would “rather not know” if they had cancer.
Overall, the report showed a significant improvement in men’s survival, now at 63 per cent (up from 61 per cent), with women’s survival remaining steady at 66 per cent. But, the stark difference in the chance of survival comes if the disease is detected early.
If the cancer is detected before it has spread, the chance of survival after five years is up to 84 per cent.
The cancer survival report said overall survival after five years is greater than 90 per cent for cancers of the prostate, testes, thyroid, lip and melanoma of the skin. Breast cancer survival follows closely with overall survival at 88.3 per cent, but this increases to 97 per cent if the disease is diagnosed early.
However, people diagnosed with cancer of unknown primary origin, esophagus, liver, lung, mesothelioma and pancreas have less than a 20 per cent chance of survival.
“There is still considerable work that needs to be done to reduce the burden of cancer in NSW, particularly for people who have poor prognosis cancers,” says Currow.Do you have an idea for a story?
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