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Laryngeal (larynx) cancer survival statistics

One-, five- and ten-year survival statistics for laryngeal cancer by age and trends over time, for men only are presented here. The ICD code for laryngeal cancer is ICD-10 C32. Due to the small numbers of women diagnosed each year with laryngeal cancer survival data is not published for females.

The statistics on these pages give an overall picture of survival. Unless otherwise stated, the statistics include all male adults diagnosed with laryngeal 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 laryngeal 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 laryngeal cancer in England during 2005-2009 show that 84.9% of men are expected to survive their disease for at least one year. Five-year age-standardised data is not available but the un-standardised rates show that 66.8% men are surviving five years or more (Table 3.1).1,2 Broadly similar rates have been reported for Scotland.3

Table 3.1: Laryngeal Cancer (C32), Age-Standardised One-, Five- and Ten-Year  Relative Survival Rates, Males (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**
Male 84.9 66.8 59.6

Download this table XLS (38KB)

*Five-year survival rates are not age-standardised
**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 laryngeal cancer, survival falls by around 10% beyond five years after diagnosis, so for laryngeal cancer the five-year survival rate does not represent a ‘cure’ rate (Table 3.1).4  

The five-year relative survival rates for laryngeal cancer are among the highest of the 21 most common cancers in England.1 Like most cancers, when caught at an early stage treatment is much more effective.

section reviewed 09/08/12
section updated 09/08/12

 

By age

As with nearly all cancers, relative survival for laryngeal cancer is higher in younger men, 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. Differences in underlying tumour biology may also play a part.

The five-year relative survival rates for laryngeal cancer in men in England during 2005-2009 ranged from almost 70% in 50-59 year olds to 54% in 80-99 year olds (Figure 3.1).1

Figure 3.1: Laryngeal Cancer (C32), Five-Year Relative Survival Rates by Age, Males, England 2005-2009

surv_5yr_age_larynx.swf

Download this chart XLS (53KB)

section reviewed 09/08/12
section updated 09/08/12

 

Trends over time

As with the majority of cancers, relative survival for laryngeal cancer is improving. This can generally be attributed to faster diagnosis and improvements in treatment. However, the improvement has been slow and there is still scope for improvement. Increasing cancer survival rates remains a major priority of Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer.5 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.

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. In men, one-year relative survival rates for laryngeal cancer increased from 78% in England and Wales during 1971-1975 to 84.9% in England during 2005-2009 (Figure 3.2).1,4,6

Figure 3.2: Laryngeal Cancer (C32), Age-Standardised One-Year Relative Survival Rates, England and Wales 1971-1995 and England 1996-2009

surv_1yr_larynx.swf

Download this chart XLS (56KB)

*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. In men, five-year relative survival rates for laryngeal cancer increased from 57% in England and Wales during 1971-1975 to 66.8**% in England during 2005-2009 (Figure 3.3).1,4,6

Figure 3.3: Laryngeal Cancer (C32), Age-standardised Five-Year Relative Survival Rates, England and Wales 1971-1995 and England 1996-2009

surv_5yr_larynx.swf

Download this chart XLS (55KB)

*Survival rates are for England only from 1996 onwards
**Survival rates for 2005-2009 are not age-standardised

Ten-year relative survival rates for men diagnosed with laryngeal cancer increased from 51% in England and Wales during 1971-1975 to a predicted** 61.6% in England in 2007 (Figure 3.4).2,4,8

Figure 3.4: Laryngeal Cancer (C32), Age-standardised Ten-Year Relative Survival Rates, Males, England and Wales 1971-1995 and Predicted 2007**, and England 1996-2000 

surv_10yr_larynx.swf

Download this chart XLS (55KB)

*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 09/08/12
section updated 09/08/12

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References for laryngeal 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. Information Services Division Scotland (ISD Scotland). Cancer Statistics. Accessed September 2011.
  4. For data for 1996-2003: 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.
  5. Department of Health. Improving outcomes: a strategy for cancer. London: Department of Health; 2011.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Cancer Research UK. CancerStats report. Survival – England and Wales. London: Cancer Research UK; 2004.
Updated: 3 September 2012