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Survival statistics for chronic lymphocytic leukemia
Survival statistics for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) 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 CLL and what they mean to you.
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 CLL is 83%. This means that about 83% of people diagnosed with CLL will survive for at least 5 years.
Survival for CLL is reported as median survival. Median survival is the period of time (usually months or years) at which half of the people with cancer are still alive. The other half will live less than this amount of time.
The median survival varies with each stage of CLL. The stages of CLL are divided into levels of risk that indicate how likely the disease is to worsen. Age, the pattern of lymphocytes in the bone marrow, chromosome changes and other characteristics of the CLL can also affect survival.
|Staging system||Stage||Level of risk||Median survival|
more than 12.5 years
1 and 2
3 and 4
More than 10 years
Questions about survival
If you have CLL, talk to your doctor about your prognosis. Prognosis depends on many factors, including:
- your medical history
- type of cancer
- characteristics of the cancer
- treatments chosen
- response to treatment
Only a doctor familiar with these factors can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.
Great progress has been made
Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.