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On this World Cancer Day we celebrate the efforts of millions around the world to beat cancer. For tens of millions of cancer patients a cancer diagnosis is no longer a death sentence.

If you are getting your cancer care in the USA, you have the best chances of surviving cancer if you get a relatively common kind of cancer. This is largely because doctors have more experience in treating the most frequently occurring kinds of cancer, and the most research dollars have been spent in finding treatments for the these kinds of cancer. Here are are frequencies and survival rates for common forms of cancer in the US, taken from data provided by the American Cancer Society.

American women have 1.15% risk of developing bladder cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 30% chance of dying from it.

American men have a 3.83% risk of developing bladder cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 23% chance of dying from it.

American women have a 0.55% risk of developing brain cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 74% chance of dying from it.

American men have a 0.50% risk of developing brain cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 70% chance of dying from it.

American women have a 12.78% risk of developing breast cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 22% chance of dying from it.

American men have 0.13% risk of developing breast cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, then have 21% chance of dying from it.

American women have a 0.68% risk of developing cervical cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 33% chance of dying from it.

American women have a 4.78% risk of developing colon cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 41% chance of dying from it.

American men have a 5.17% risk of developing colon cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 41% chance of dying from it.

American women have a 0.23% risk of developing esophageal cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have 91% chance of dying from it.

American men have a 0.81% risk of developing esophageal cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 95% chance of dying from it.

American women have a 0.21% risk of developing Hodgkin disease. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have an 18% chance of dying from it.

American men have a 0.25% risk of developing Hodgkin disease. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 16% chance of dying from it.

American women have a 1.20% risk of developing kidney cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have 28% chance of dying from it.

American men have a 2.01% risk of developing kidney cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 29% chance of dying from it.

American women have a 1.14% risk of developing leukemia. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 62% chance of dying from it.

American men have a 1.59% risk of developing leukemia. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 67% chance of dying from it.

American women have a 0.49% risk of developing liver cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have an 87% chance of dying from it.

American men have a 1.18% risk of developing liver cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have an 83% chance of dying it from it.

American women have a 6.35% risk of developing lung cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have an 82% chance of dying from it.

American men have a 7.77% risk of developing lung cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have  an 86% chance of dying from it.

American women have a 1.58% risk of developing melanoma of the skin. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 15% chance of dying from it.

American men have a 2.49% risk of developing melanoma of the skin. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 17% chance of dying from it.

American women have a 1.00% risk of developing ovarian cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 72% chance of dying from it.

American women have an 0.89% risk of developing pancreatic cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 90% chance of dying from it.

American men have a 1.48% risk of developing pancreatic cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have an 89% chance of dying from it.

American men have a 16.15% risk of developing prostate cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have an 17% chance of dying from it.

American women have a 0.66% risk of developing stomach cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 52% chance of dying from it.

American men have a 1.09% risk of developing stomach cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 47% chance of dying from it.

American men have a 0.52% risk of developing testicular cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 9% chance of dying from it.

American women have a 1.53% risk of developing thyroid cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 4% chance of dying from it.

American men have a 0.52% risk of developing thyroid cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 9% chance of dying from it.

American women have 2.64% risk of developing uterine cancer. If they develop this kind of cancer, they have a 19% chance of dying from it.

If you live outside the United States, overall you probably have a slightly lower risk of developing cancer, and also a slightly higher chance of dying from it. Individuals, of course, can exercise control over the factors that keep them from becoming just another cancer statistic.

  • Community Oncology Alliance. Community oncology cancer care practice impact report: Documented impact on community oncology practices. http://www.communityoncology.org/UserFiles/files/e6c14902-aebb-4368-8d8f-b14234f95161/COA%20Community%20Oncology%20Practice%20Impact%20Report%207-23-10.pdf.
  • Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Neyman N, Aminou R, Waldron W, Altekruse SF, Kosary CL, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Cho H, Mariotto A, Eisner MP, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2009 (Vintage 2009 Populations), National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2009_pops09/, based on November 2011 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER Web site, April 2012.
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