Cancer survival statistics

One- and five-year survival rates for breast, lung, colorectal and prostate cancers, for the WCRF network countries (Netherlands, UK and US)

Many factors influence a person’s likelihood of surviving after a diagnosis of cancer. Factors such as type of cancer, the stage at which it is detected and diagnosed, health status of the individual before diagnosis, and the local and national healthcare system, in particular local cancer screening policies, all contribute to survival rates. In general, survival rates are better when cancer is detected and diagnosed earlier.

There are clear indications that diet, nutrition and physical activity are related to outcomes after a cancer diagnosis. However, more research is needed to fully understand the impact of interventions that change body composition, dietary intake and levels of physical activity. That is why outcomes after a diagnosis of cancer – both medical and quality of life outcomes – are a key topic area for the CUP Transition.

Survival rate definitions

  • 1-year survival rate: the percentage of people who have been diagnosed with cancer and are still alive one year after diagnosis or start of treatment.
  • 5-year survival rate: the percentage of people who have been diagnosed with cancer and are still alive five years after diagnosis or start of treatment.

These statistics are usually specific to cancer sites but can be reported for all cancers together.

Cancer survival data

> Download cancer survival statistics (xlsx) for:

> Read our Third Expert Report chapter on survivors of breast and other cancers

Stages of cancer in different countries

As different countries use different systems for staging cancers, it is important to compare like with like. This table (xlsx) shows an approximation of the equivalent cancer stages for the UK (TNM stage) and US (SS2000 stage). This is based on the work of the International Cancer Benchmarking Project.


Survival ata sources (accessed July 2020)