Glossary Term:


five-year survival rate



the percentage of people with a given cancer who are alive 5 years or longer after diagnosis. Five-year survival rates are based on the most recent information available, but they may include information from patients treated several years earlier. These numbers do not take into account advances in treatment that have often occurred. They only paint a very general picture of how people in the past have done with the same type of cancer. Note that the 5-year survival rate counts survivors only, regardless of the cause of death (so some non-survivors will have died from causes other than cancer). These survival rates are not helpful in predicting any one person’s outcome. See also five-year relative survival rate.