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Cervical cancer survival statistics

One-, five- and ten-year survival statistics for cervical cancer by age and trends over time are presented here. The ICD code for cervical cancer is ICD-10 C53.

The statistics on these pages give an overall picture of survival. Unless otherwise stated, the statistics include all female adults diagnosed with cervical cancer, at all ages, stages and co-morbidities. The survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and tumour characteristics. If you are a patient, you will probably find our CancerHelp pages more relevant and useful.

The latest survival statistics available for cervical cancer in England are 2005-2009 (followed up to 2010). Find out why these are the latest statistics available.

 

One-, five- and ten-year survival

The latest age-standardised relative survival rates for cervical cancer in England during 2005-2009 show that 83.6% of women are expected to survive their disease for at least one year, falling to 66.6% surviving five years or more (Table 3.1).1,2 Broadly similar rates have been reported for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.3-5

Table 3.1: Cervical Cancer (C53), Age-Standardised One-, Five- and Ten-Year Relative Survival Rates, Adults (Aged 15-99), England 2005-2009 and England and Wales 2007

Relative Survival (%)
1 Year 5 Year 10 Year
Sex 2005-2009 2005-2009 2007*
Female 83.6 66.6 63.0

Download this table XLS (38KB)

*Ten-year survival rates have been predicted for patients diagnosed in 2007 (using the hybrid approach)

A common misconception is to treat five-year survival rates as ‘cure’ rates. However, for cervical cancer, survival falls by around 10% beyond five years after diagnosis, so for cervical cancer the five-year survival rate does not represent a ‘cure’ rate. (Table 3.1).6

The five-year relative survival rates for cervical cancer are among the highest of the 21 most common cancers in England.1 These high survival rates can be attributed in large part to the NHS Cervical Screening Program which was introduced in the 1980s. Screening can detect cervical cancers at an early stage when treatment is most likely to be successful.  

section reviewed 30/04/12
section updated 30/04/12

 

By age

As with nearly all cancers, relative survival for cervical cancer is higher in younger women, even after taking account of the higher background mortality in older people. The reasons for this are likely to include a combination of better general health, more effective response to treatment and earlier diagnosis in younger people overall. There is also the fact that the NHS screening program has an upper age limit of 64 years. Differences in underlying tumour biology may also play a part.

The five-year relative survival rates for cervical cancer in England during 2005-2009 ranged from 89% in 15-39 year olds to 22% in 80-99 year olds (Figure 3.1).1

Figure 3.1: Cervical Cancer (C53), Five-Year Relative Survival Rates by Age, England 2005-2009

surv_5yr_age_cervix.swf

Download this chart XLS (58KB) PPT (136KB) PDF (305KB)

section reviewed 30/04/12
section updated 30/04/12

Trends over time

As with the majority of cancers, relative survival for cervical cancer is improving. This can generally be attributed to faster diagnosis due to the NHS Screening Program, and improvements in treatment. However, there is still scope for improvement and increasing cancer survival rates remains a major priority of Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer.7 An outcome of this Strategy is the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative (NAEDI), which is a public sector/third sector partnership between the Department of Health, National Cancer Action Team, and Cancer Research UK. The role of NAEDI is to promote the earlier diagnosis of cancer, and this will involve researching ways to further improve survival rates from cervical cancer.

One-year relative survival rates have been used as an indicator of early diagnosis, since death before one year could be due to the disease being diagnosed at a late stage. One-year relative survival rates for cervical cancer increased from 75% in England and Wales during 1971-1975 to 83.6% in England during 2005-2009 (Figure 3.2).1,8-10

Figure 3.2: Cervical Cancer (C53), Age-Standardised One-Year Relative Survival Rates, England and Wales 1971-1995, England 1996-2009

surv_1yr_cervix.swf

Download this chart XLS (48KB) PPT (127KB) PDF (41KB)

*Survival rates are for England only from 1996 onwards

While relative survival rates are still influenced by early diagnosis after five years, they are also strongly dependent on the success of treatment. Five-year relative survival rates for cervical cancer increased from 52% in England and Wales during 1971-1975 to 66.6% in England during 2005-2009 (Figure 3.3).1,8-10

Figure 3.3: Cervical Cancer (C53), Age-Standardised Five-Year Relative Survival Rates, England and Wales 1971-1995, England 1996-2009

surv_5yr_cervix.swf

Download this chart XLS (45KB) PPT (126KB) PDF (36KB)

*Survival rates are for England only from 1996 onwards

Ten-year relative survival rates for women diagnosed with cervical cancer increased from 46% in England and Wales during 1971-1975 to a predicted** 64.4% in England in 2007 (Figure 3.4).2,10,11

Figure 3.4: Cervical Cancer (C53), Age-Standardised Ten-Year Relative Survival Rates, England and Wales 1971-1995 and Predicted 2007, England 1996 to 2003

surv_10yr_cervix.swf

Download this chart XLS (60KB) PPT (137KB) PDF (52KB)

*Survival rates are not age-standardised from 1971-1985
**Ten-year survival rates have been predicted for patients diagnosed in 2007 (using the hybrid approach)

section reviewed 30/04/12
section updated 30/04/12

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References for cervical cancer survival

  1. For data for 2005-2009: Office for National Statistics (ONS). Cancer survival in England: Patients diagnosed 2005-2009 and followed up to 2010. London: ONS; 2011.
  2. For data for 2007: Coleman MP, et al. Research commissioned by Cancer Research UK, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 2010.
  3. Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit (WCISU). Cancer Survival Trends in Wales 1985-2004. Cardiff: WCISU; 2010.
  4. Information Services Division Scotland (ISD Scotland). Cancer Statistics. Cancer of the cervix. Accessed September 2011.
  5. Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR). Cancer Survival Online Statistics. Cervical. Accessed September 2011.
  6. Rachet B, Maringe C, Nur U, et al. Population-based cancer survival trends in England and Wales up to 2007. Lancet Oncol 2009;10:351-369. Age-standardised figures were provided by the author on request.
  7. Department of Health Improving outcomes: a strategy for cancer. London: Department of Health; 2011.
  8. For data for 1971-1990: Coleman MP, Babb P, Damiecki P, et al. Cancer Survival Trends in England and Wales, 1971-1995: Deprivation and NHS Region. Series SMPS No 61. London: ONS; 1999.
  9. For data for 1991-1995: Office for National Statistics (ONS). Cancer Survival: England and Wales, 1991-2001, twenty major cancers by age group. London: ONS; 2005.
  10. Rachet B, Maringe C, Nur U, et al. Population-based cancer survival trends in England and Wales up to 2007. Lancet Oncol 2009;10:351-369. Age-standardised figures were provided by the author on request.
  11. Cancer Research UK. CancerStats report. Survival – England and Wales. London: Cancer Research UK; 2004.
Updated: 3 September 2012