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Cancer Survival Statistics

Cancer survival statistics are typically expressed as the proportion of patients alive at some point subsequent to the diagnosis of their cancer. Relative survival is an estimate of the percentage of patients who would be expected to survive the effects of their cancer. Observed survival is the actual percentage of patients still alive at some specified time after diagnosis of cancer. Survival considers deaths from all causes, cancer or otherwise. Overview of Population-based Cancer Survival Statistics contains a more detailed description and information on the interpretation of survival statistics.

NCI has a variety of published reports and research tools for finding survival statistics.

For definitions of statistics-related terms, see the Glossary of Statistical Terms.

  • Updated: December 4, 2009