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Cervical cancer prognosis and survival rates

Perhaps the most important point regarding regular cervical screening is that the vast majority of abnormalities are detected in the pre-cancerous state. At this stage treatment is normally a very well tolerated minor out-patient procedure under local anaesthetic.

Like many other cancers, cervical cancer survival rates are improving as new treatments and better screening methods are introduced. The key is to detect the disease as early as possible which is why cancer screening and tests such as GynaeCheck are so important.

Looking at the data provided by Cancer Research UK, it is clear to see that 1, 5 and 10 year survival rates have improved across the board since the 1970’s as follows:

1 year relative survival rates for cervical cancer

Between 1971 and 1975, one year survival rates for cervical cancer were 75% in England and Wales. The most recent data from 2005-2009 in England shows these have improved to 83.6%.

5 year relative survival rates for cervical cancer

Between 1971 and 1975, the five year survival rate for cervical cancer was 52% in England and Wales. By 2005-2009, this had improved in England to 66.6%.

10 year relative survival rates for cervical cancer

The 10 year relative survival rates for cervical cancer are based on actual data from England and Wales between 1971 and 1975 of 46% and predicted levels in 2007 of 64.4%

Cervical Cancer Survival Rates by Age

The age at which you develop cervical cancer will impact on the likely prognosis. Again, figures from Cancer Research UK show that the younger you are, the better your chances of a successful outcome. The following chart from the data clearly shows this:

The above chart was produced from Cancer Research UK data.

Cervical cancer survival rates by Stage

The stage, or how advanced your cervical cancer is when it is diagnosed will also have a significant effect on the overall prognosis. The good news is that since the introduction of a national screening programme, the incidence of late stage cervical cancers has reduced thus helping to improve overall survival rates.

There are four stages that describe how advanced cervical cancer is. Within these four stages there are further groups to help define more closely the specific nature of the disease at diagnosis. The data below, from Cancer Research UK, shows 5 year survival rates for the various stages of the disease.

Stage 1 – the cancer is only in the cervix. Tumours range from only a few millimetres to larger than 4 cms. There are 4 groups in this stage with the following 5-year survival rates:
Stage 1A1 - 98 – 99%
Stage 1A2 – 95 – 98%
Stage 1B1 – 90 – 95%
Stage 1B2 – 80%

Stage 2 – this is where the cancer has spread outside the cervix but only to tissue close to the cervix. There are 2 groups in this stage:
Stage 2A - 70- 90%
Stage 2B – 60 – 70%

Stage 3 – this is a more advanced stage of cervical cancer where the cancer has spread to the lower vagina or the side of the pelvis. This has one stage and survival rates at this more advanced stage do see a significant drop off to between 30-50%

Stage 4 – the most advanced form of cervical cancer where the cancer as metastasised to other organs, usually the bowel or bladder. Typical survival rates for this stage of the disease are 20%.

Early Detection Saves Lives!

The data clearly shows that detecting cervical cancer early really has a significant impact on the long term prognosis. This is why it is important that ALL women are checked regularly so that abnormalities can be picked up and dealt with before they develop. If you have shunned the NHS cervical cancer screening programme in the past due to fears over discomfort, embarrassment or simply time constraints, we hope these statistics will help you think again or consider using GynaeCheck, the faster, more convenient way to be tested for HPV in the privacy of your own home.

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