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'Tipping point' in battle against cancer

The fight against cancer has reached a 'tipping point' with over half of patients now surviving at least 10 years, according to a major new study.

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Prostate cancer patients' survival rates improve most

Survival rates for testicular cancer had jumped from 69 percent to 98 percent, and for malignant skin cancer from 46 percent to 89 percent, a major new study shows.

Researchers looking at data from over 7 million patients found an increase in survival rates from the 1970s, when just a quarter of patients lived as long as 10 years.

The chart bellow shows the survival rates improvements. Each arrow illustrates the increase in survival rates between 1971 and 2011.

All cancers rates improved from 25 percent in 1971 to 50 percent in 2011.

Adult 10-year net survival, England & Wales Credit: Cancer Research UK

The chief executive of Cancer Research UK, Dr Harpal Kumarhas, told ITV News the survival rates reflect the "enormous progress" in cancer treatment.

Dr Kumar added that for many patients the survival time would be "very much longer" than 10 years.

Women with breast cancer now had a 78 percent chance of surviving at least a decade, compared with 40 percent in 1971. Similarly, the proportion of men living 10 years with prostate cancer had jumped from 25 percent to around 80 percent.

But it was not all good news. The outlook remained bleak for patients with the deadliest forms of cancer.

Fewer than 5 percent of people diagnosed with lung and pancreatic cancer could expect to live 10 years, and for oesophageal and brain cancers decade-long survival was no more than 15 percent.

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