National / Science & Health

Japan's five-year cancer survival rate at 66.4%

JIJI

The five-year survival rate for people diagnosed with cancer in 2010-2011 stood at 66.4 percent, up 0.3 percentage point from 2009-2010, the National Cancer Center said in a report Saturday.

The national rate was calculated from data of some 650,000 people diagnosed with cancer between 2010 and 2011 at 318 medical institutions, including core hospitals for cancer treatment. The data excludes patients who died of other causes.

Five-year survival is widely used as a benchmark for determining recovery from the disease.

By cancer type, the survival rate for prostate cancer stood at 98.9 percent, the highest figure, followed by female breast cancer at 92.2 percent.

The lowest rate at 9.8 percent was for pancreatic cancer, which is difficult to detect at an early stage, and no effective therapies have been established for it.

The three-year survival rate of people who were diagnosed with cancer in 2013 came to 72.4 percent, up 0.3 point.

The survival rate tends to be low for elderly patients, due to their weakening health overall and because doctors tend to avoid taxing treatments for them, the center said.