Monday, October 20, 2008


Male vs Female Mortality Rates Tables

Survival rates indicate the percentage of people who survive the disease for a specific period of time after their diagnosis. In most cases, statistics refer to the five-year survival rate. The five-year survival rate is the percentage of people who are alive five years after diagnosis, whether they have few or no signs or symptoms of cancer, are free of disease, or are receiving treatment. 

Survival rates are based on large groups of people; they cannot be used to predict what will happen to a particular patient. No two patients are exactly alike, and thyroid cancer treatment and responses to treatment vary greatly.

Thyroid Cancer Prognosis: Survival Rates

Survival rates can be calculated by different methods for different purposes. The thyroid cancer survival rates presented here are based on the relative survival rate. The survival rate measures the survival of thyroid cancer patients in comparison to the general population to estimate the effect of cancer.

The overall five-year relative thyroid cancer survival rate from 1995-2001 was 96.6 percent.

The five-year relative thyroid cancer survival rates by race and sex were:
  • 94.4 percent for Caucasian men.
  • 97.7 percent for Caucasian women.
  • 89.2 percent for African American men.
  • 95.4 percent for African American women.
Impact of the Stage in Thyroid Cancer Prognosis

The stage of thyroid cancer plays a role in the thyroid cancer prognosis. Based on historical data:
  • 58 percent of thyroid cancer cases are diagnosed while the cancer is still confined to the primary site (localized stage).
  • 35 percent of thyroid cancer cases are diagnosed after the cancer has spread to regional lymph nodes or directly beyond the primary site (regional stage).
  • 5 percent of thyroid cancer cases are diagnosed after the cancer has already metastasized (distant stage).
  • 2 percent of thyroid cancer cases had staging information that was unknown.
The corresponding five-year relative thyroid cancer survival rates were:
  • 99.5 percent for localized
  • 96.4 percent for regional
  • 60.0 percent for distant
  • 85.4 percent for unstaged.
Final Thoughts on Thyroid Cancer Prognosis

Cancer patients and their loved ones face many unknowns. While some people find that it is easier to cope when they know the statistics, other people find statistical information confusing and frightening, and they think it is too impersonal to be of use to them. 

The doctor who is most familiar with a patient's situation is in the best position to discuss the thyroid cancer prognosis, and to explain what the statistics concerning thyroid cancer may mean for that person. At the same time, it is important to understand that even the doctor cannot tell the patient exactly what to expect because a person's prognosis may change if the cancer progresses, or if treatment is successful. 

Seeking information about the thyroid cancer prognosis is a personal decision. It is up to each patient to decide how much information he or she wants to know and how to deal with it.

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