A great deal of progress has been made in treating childhood cancers in recent decades, but improvements in treatment and survival have been slower in young adults. As with children, the progress in some cancer types has been greater than in others.
Five-year survival rates
The 5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after their cancer is diagnosed. Doctors use 5-year rates as a standard way of discussing and comparing the prognosis (outlook for recovery) for different cancers. Of course, many people live much longer than 5 years, and many are cured. Keep in mind that 5-year survival rates are based on patients who were diagnosed and treated more than 5 years ago. Improvements in treatment could result in a better outlook for patients diagnosed more recently.
Here are the 5-year survival rates for the some of the more common cancers in teens and young adults, based on people who were diagnosed between the years 2000 and 2007. (Note: These numbers include cancers diagnosed in teens age 15 to 19, although they account for only a small portion of these cancers overall.