Index of cancer survival


The index of cancer survival was designed to provide one summary measure of survival for all cancers combined. The results of the index can be monitored over time to show overall progress in the effectiveness of a health care system in treating and caring for cancer patients. These results do not represent the prospect of survival for an individual cancer patient.

Chart description

The index of cancer survival was calculated using data for all adult patients (aged 15-99) diagnosed with cancer in England over the 40-year period 1971-2014. The graph displays the results of the survival index (vertical axis) for several periods of diagnosis (horizontal axis) calculated at 1-year, 5-year and 10-years since diagnosis.


The results show significant overall improvement in survival over the 40-year period 1971-2014. For patients diagnosed in 1971-72 the index of survival was at 50% at one year after diagnosis, whilst for patients diagnosed in 2014 the index reached 50% at 10-years after diagnosis.


Manuela Quaresma

Research Fellow in Statistics

I was trained in Probability and Statistics at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal. I worked as a statistician at the Southern Portuguese Cancer Registry were I was responsible for the data management and analysis of the cancer data. In 2005, I joined the Cancer Survival Group in the Non-communicable Disease Epidemiology Unit at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in London, were I currently work as a research fellow in Statistics.

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