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Over 50 per cent of cancer patients surviving for a decade

Author: Mary Ellen Breen
27 August 2015

Progress in fighting cancer means the majority of Irish cancer patients will survive the disease for at least ten years.

Research from the National Cancer Registry has shown that the estimated survival rate for all major cancers, excluding non- melanoma skin cancer, is 54 per cent.

There are variations on the survival rates for different forms of cancer – with research showing that the ten year survival rate for prostate cancer is 85 percent, compared to 71.2 per cent for breast cancer and 12.8 percent for lung cancer.

The figures, which relate to the years 2008-2012, show a slight decline in survival rates between five years and 10 years. Net survival for cervical cancer is 61 per cent at five years and 53 per cent at 10 years. The five-year survival rate for women with breast cancer is 81 per cent, but this falls to 72.5 per cent at 10 years.

The research looks at the percentage of people with cancer who are alive a decade after diagnosis, and excludes those who have died of other causes. Not all of those people have been cured of the illness and some are still living with the disease.

Speaking to The Irish Times who released the data, Dr Derek Power of Cork University Hospital said the research showed huge progress had been made in the fight against cancer, with improved surgery, screening programme and greater awareness amongst the public.

However he urged people to seek help as soon as possible, and to avail of the screening programmes available for cervical, breast and colorectal cancer.

The research will be release shortly on

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