Cancer survival rates revealed

New figures suggest how likely you are to be alive 10 years after a cancer diagnosis

Woman with cancer wearing scarf

Many people hear the word "cancer" and think the worst, but survival rates are improving for many types of the disease, thanks to better detection and treatment.

See also: Women and cancer: symptoms you should never ignore

See also: Men and cancer: symptoms you should never ignore

In fact, cancer survival rates have doubled over the last 40 years according to Dr Rebecca Smittenaar, Cancer Research UK's statistics manager.

She explains: "Research has led to better treatments, new drugs, more accurate tests, earlier diagnosis and screening programmes - giving patients a better chance of survival. For a number of cancers, including breast and skin cancer, more than eight out of 10 people will survive their disease."

Experts have now calculated how many men and women diagnosed with cancer in 2015 are likely to survive to 2025.

Skin cancer
Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK and cases of melanoma (an aggressive type of skin cancer that can spread to other parts of the body), is on the rise.

There are currently around 13,000 new melanoma cases diagnosed each year in the UK – but caught early, it's also one of the most treatable forms of cancer.

New figures show that up to 87.2% of men and 91.5% of women diagnosed with melanoma are likely to survive for at least 10 years - one of the best survival rate of all cancers.

See also: Could it be skin cancer? How to tell if a mole is cancerous

Breast cancer

One-in-eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives, making it the most common type of cancer amongst females.

Thankfully, survival rates are improving. More than than four in five (80.6%) women diagnosed with breast cancer will be alive in 2025. However, much depends on the age at which you're diagnosed. While 86.8% of women diagnosed in their 50s can expect to live at least a decade that drops to to 54.1% for those over the age of 80.

It's important to go along for a mammogram when invited as you have a much better chance of recovery if the cancer is detected in its early stages. Self examination is important too. If you notice anything usual, such as a thickening of the tissue, puckered skin, or a lump, see your GP.

See also: Breast cancer isn't always a lump: seven less-obvious signs to watch for

Prostate cancer
In the UK, around one-in-eight men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives. Your risk increases with age, and most men are aged between 65 and 69 when they are diagnosed.

Survival rates for prostate cancer, the most common type amongst men, are relatively good at 79.9%. Again, the age at which you're diagnosed makes a difference. Some 90.5% of men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer in their 50s will be alive 10 years later. This drops to 56.7% for men aged over 80.

Often, early prostate cancers can often be watched and don't progress, but others are more serious and need to be treated. If you notice any of the symptoms - such as needing to urinate more frequently and urgently - it's best to get checked out straight away.

See also: "Prostate cancer runs in my family but it was still a shock"

Lung cancer
Lung cancer was the second-leading cause of death in men in the UK in 2013, second only to heart disease, and causes more deaths in both men and women than any other kind of cancer.

As you might imagine, survival rates are less good. Only 9.8% of people diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015 are expected to survive by 2025.

Most people with lung cancer don't experience any symptoms in the early stages of the disease - and even in the later stages, many of the signs are easy to mistake for something else.

As Dr Smittenaar explains: "Survival remains low for some cancers, including lung, pancreatic, oesophageal cancer and brain tumours, partly because they tend to be diagnosed at a later stage when they're much harder to treat."

See also: Seven surprising lung cancer symptoms

Other cancers

The report also highlights that 56.9% of men with kidney cancer or non-hodgkin lymphoma will live 10 years, while 56% of men with bowel cancer are expected to be alive in 2015. Just over half of men with bladder cancer should survive 10 years, while the figure is 44.8% for men with leukaemia.

Meanwhile the survival for cervical cancer among women is predicted to be 64.3%, while 59.8% of women with bowel cancer and 44.7% of women with leukaemia are expected to live at least 10 years. Only 11.9% of those with brain cancer will live that long, for those with pancreatic cancer it drops to just 5.7%.