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Survival statistics for parathyroid cancer are very general estimates and must be interpreted very carefully. Because these statistics are based on the experience of groups of people, they cannot be used to predict a particular person’s chances of survival.
There are many different ways to measure and report cancer survival statistics. Your doctor can explain the statistics for parathyroid cancer and what they mean to you.
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).
There are no specific Canadian statistics available for parathyroid cancer. The following information comes from a variety of sources and may include statistics from other countries.
A separate 5-year relative survival statistic is not reported for parathyroid cancer, but is included in the general category, other endocrine cancers. This broad category includes similar cancers that are grouped and reported together. This statistic does not necessarily reflect the actual survival for the individual cancers within the group. The 5-year relative survival for other endocrine cancers is 63%. This means that, on average, people diagnosed with other endocrine cancers are 63% as likely to live 5 years (or more) after diagnosis as people in the general population who do not have cancer.
The 5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of people who are alive at least 5 years after their cancer diagnosis. However, people may live much longer than 5 years. Survival for parathyroid cancer after complete tumour removal is reported as:
People with cancer should talk to their doctor about their prognosis. Prognosis depends on many factors, including:
Tumour size and lymph node status do not appear to have an impact on survival. Parathyroid cancer often recurs and, in most cases, the cause of death is related to hypercalcemia.
Only a doctor familiar with these factors can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.
The Canadian Cancer Society is actively lobbying the federal government to establish a national caregivers strategy to ensure there is more financial support for this important group of people.