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Cervical cancer

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Survival statistics for cervical cancer

Survival statistics for cervical cancer are very general estimates and must be interpreted very carefully. Because these statistics are based on the experience of groups of women, they cannot be used to predict a particular woman’s chances of survival.

There are many different ways to measure and report cancer survival statistics. Your doctor can explain the statistics for cervical cancer and what they mean to you.

Net survival

Net survival represents the probability of surviving cancer in the absence of other causes of death. It is used to give an estimate of the percentage of people who will survive their cancer.

In Canada, the 5-year net survival for cervical cancer is 73%. This means that, on average, about 73% of women diagnosed with cervical cancer will survive for at least 5 years.

Relative survival

Relative survival looks at how likely people with cancer are to survive after their diagnosis compared to people in the general population who do not have cancer, but who share similar characteristics (such as age and sex).

Observed survival

Observed survival is the percentage of people with a particular cancer who are alive for a specified period of time after their diagnosis. For example, a 93% 5-year observed survival rate for stage IA cervical cancer means that 93% of women diagnosed with this stage are expected to be alive 5 years after diagnosis. This survival rate is often used when talking about a person’s prognosis. However, observed survival does not consider the cause of death, so people could have died from cancer or from other causes.

Survival by stage

Survival varies with each stage of cervical cancer. Generally, the earlier cervical cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.

There are no specific Canadian statistics available for the different stages of cervical cancer. The following information comes from a variety of sources and may include statistics from other countries.

Cervical cancer survival
Stage5-year observed survival

IA

93%

IB

80%

IIA

63%

IIB

58%

IIIA

35%

IIIB

32%

IVA

16%

IVB

15%

Questions about survival

Talk to your doctor about your prognosis. A prognosis depends on many factors, including:

  • your health history
  • the type of cancer
  • the stage
  • certain characteristics of the cancer
  • the treatments chosen
  • how the cancer responds to treatment

Only a doctor familiar with these factors can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.

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