Cancer Research Making a Difference
For detailed information: Timeline: 150 Years of Advances Against Cancer
Highlights of Progress in Cancer Research
From improved survival rates to drugs that target molecular changes caused by cancer, learn about some of the major advances in cancer research and treatment since the National Cancer Act of 1971.
- More people are surviving after cancer and fewer people are getting cancer.
Since 1975 the 5-year survival rate of those diagnosed with cancer has increased to 66%. Since the start of this century the percentage of people diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. has decreased. Read more...
- A large majority of children with cancer survive.
Prior to 1975, fewer than one in two children diagnosed with cancer survived five years. Today, more than 80 percent of children diagnosed with cancer survive at least five years.
- Today’s treatments have increased survival rates in many types of cancer.
For example, in 1975, men with testicular cancer that had spread to other parts of the body had a 5 percent chance of surviving for one year. Today, these men have more than an 80 percent chance of surviving more than five years due to treatments with combination chemotherapies.
- Drugs that target specific molecular changes involved in cancer are now common.
By focusing on molecular and cellular changes specific to a disease, targeted cancer therapies may be more effective than other traditional types of treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation. Targeted therapies are also typically less harmful to normal cells. In the past there were no specifically molecularly targeted treatments for cancer. To date, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved almost 30 of these molecularly targeted agents for cancer. Read more...
- Vaccines can help prevent some cancers.
In the last several years vaccines have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and used widely by the American public to prevent infection of viruses that can cause cancer. For example, the hepatitis B vaccine can help prevent liver cancer, and the human papillomavirus vaccine can help prevent cervical cancer. Read more...
For more information view the 150 Years of Advances Agaist Cancer timeline.