Medical Oncology and Tumor Pharmacotherapy

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 147–153 | Cite as

Trends in cancer survival and mortality rates

  • Jan Pontén
  • Hans-Olov Adami
  • Pär Sparén


Survival, i.e. the time from report to cancer registry to death was studied for 591,456 cases of cancer diagnosedin vivo from 1960 to 1984. Ten years survival increased from 35 to 40%. Survival rates for women were higher than for men. Since 10 years survival almost suggests cure, lead time bias is assumed not to be a major factor. Nor are relaxed histological criteria, detecting non-fatal tumors, intensified microscopic examination, changes in the relative frequency of cancer types, or increasing numbers of elderly patients assumed to be major artefacts. In contrast, improved socio-economic and health status are. Early detection also improves survival in some cancer types.

Key words

Cancer Survival Epidemiology 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Adami H-Oet al.: Increasing survival trend after cancer diagnosis in Sweden: 1960–1984.J natn Cancer Inst 81, 1640–1647 (1989).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Mattsson B.: Cancer registration in Sweden. Studies on completeness and validity of incidence and mortality registers. PhD dissertation. University of Stockholm, Sweden (1984).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hakulinen Tet al.:Suomalaisten syöpä. Alueittainen kehitys 1954–2008. Suomen Syöpärekisteri, Syöpätautien tutkimussäätö, Helsinki (1989).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Philipp R, Hastings A, Briggs J, Sizer J.: are malignant melanoma time trends explained by changes in histopathological criteria for classifying pigmented skin lesions?J Epidem Comm Hlth 42, 14–16 (1987).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ringberg A. Palmer B, Linell F: The contralateral breast at reconstructive surgery after breast cancer Operation — a histopathological study.Breast Cancer Res Treatment 2, 151–161 (1982).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Pontén J: Abnormal cell growth (neoplasia) and aging, in Finch C E and Hayflick L (eds):Handbook of the Biology of Aging, pp. 536–650. New York, Van Norstarnd Reinhold Company (1977).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fransilla K O, Hanach H R: Occult papillary carcinoma of the thyroid in children and young adults.Cancer 58, 715–719, (1986).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pontén J and Larsson L-G: Breast cancer. Critical overviews of natural history, etiology, molecular biology and screening by mammography.Int J Cancer 5, (1990).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hansson L-E, Bergström R, Sparén P and Adami H-O: The decline in the incidence of stomach cancer in Sweden 1960–1984: A birth cohort phenomenon.Int J Cancer 47, 499–503 (1991).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Devesa S A et al: Cancer incidence and mortality trends among whites in the United States, 1947-84.J natn Cancer but 79, 701–770 (1987).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Tomatis L (ed):Cancer: Causes, Occurrence and Control, IARC Scientific Publications No. 100. International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon (1990).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Young J L Jr, Ries L G, Pollack E S: Cancer patient survival among ethnic groups in the United States.J natn Cancer Inst 73, 341–352 (1984).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Munoz N, Correa P, Cuello C, Duque E: Histologic types of gastric carcinoma in high- and low-risk areas.Int J Cancer 3, 809–815 (1968).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bergkvist L, Adami H-O, Persson I: Prognosis after breast cancer diagnosed in women exposed to estrogen and estrogen-progestogen replacement therapyAm J Epidemiol 130, 221–228 (1989).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Collins J, Doner A, Allen L H et al: Oestrogen use and survival in endometrial cancer.Lancet 2, 461–464 (1980).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Stemmermann G N, Brown C: A survival study of intestinal and diffuse types of gastric carcinoma.Cancer 33, 1190–1195 (1974).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Annual report on the results of treatment in gynecological cancer, FIGO. Ed Folke Pettersson, Panorama Press AB, Stockholm, 1988.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Shafir R, Hiss J, Tsur D, Bubis J J: The thin malignant melanoma. Changing patterns of epidemiology and treatment.Cancer 50, 817–819 (1982).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Phillips RKS, Hittinger R, Blesowsky L, Fry J S and Fielding L P: Large bowel cancer: Surgical pathology and its relationship to survival.Br J Surg 71, 604–610 (1984).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bailar J C III, Smith E M: Progress against cancer?N Engl J Med 314, 1226–1232 (1986).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rutqvist L-E, Mattsson B, Signomklao T: Cancer mortality trends in Sweden 1960–1986.Acta Oncol 28, 771 (1989).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Doll R: Progress against cancer: Are we winning the war?Acta Oncol 28, 611–621 (1989).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hakulinen T, Tenkanen L: Regression analysis of relative survival rates.Appl Stat 36, 309–317 (1987).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lenner P: The excess mortality rate. A useful concept in cancer epidemiology.Acta Oncol 29, 573–576 (1990).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Pontén
    • 1
  • Hans-Olov Adami
    • 1
  • Pär Sparén
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Pathology and Cancer EpidemiologyUniversity HospitalUppsalaSweden

Personalised recommendations