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Br J Cancer. Aug 2001; 85(3): 367–371.
PMCID: PMC2364068
Long-term cancer patient survival achieved by the end of the 20th century: most up-to-date estimates from the nationwide Finnish cancer registry
H Brenner1 and T Hakulinen2,3
1Department of Epidemiology, German Centre for Research on Ageing, Bergheimer Str. 20, Heidelberg, D-69115, Germany
2Finnish Cancer Registry, Liisankatu 21 B, Helsinki, FIN-00170, Finland
3Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, FIN-00170, Finland
Received December 15, 2000; Revised April 26, 2001; Accepted May 2, 2001.
A new method of survival analysis, denoted period analysis, has recently been developed, which has been shown to provide more up-to-date estimates of long-term survival rates than traditional methods of survival analysis. We applied period analysis to data from the nationwide Finnish cancer registry to provide up-to-date estimates of 5-, 10-, 15- and 20-year relative survival rates (RSR) achieved by the end of the 20th century. For most forms of cancer, period estimates of long-term survival are much higher than corresponding traditional survival estimates which suggests that for these cancers there has been ongoing major progress in survival rates in recent years which so far has remained undisclosed by traditional methods of survival analysis. For example, period analysis reveals that 10 year RSR have come close to (or even exceed) 80% for cancer of the corpus uteri and melanoma, 75% for breast cancer, 70% for bladder cancer, 65% for cancer of the cervix uteri, and 55% for cancer of the colon and prostate. Period analysis further reveals that 20 year RSR have now come close to (or even exceed) 75% for endometrial cancer and melanoma, 60% for breast cancer and cervical cancer, 55% for colon cancer and bladder cancer, and 40%–50% for cancer of the rectum, the ovaries, kidneys and nervous system. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign
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