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Stomach cancer survival statistics

One-, five- and ten-year survival statistics for stomach cancer by age and trends over time are presented here. The ICD code for stomach cancer is ICD-10 C16.

The statistics on these pages give an overall picture of survival. Unless otherwise stated, the statistics include all adults diagnosed with stomach 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 stomach 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 stomach cancer in England during 2005-2009 show that 42.2% of men are expected to survive their disease for at least one year, falling to 17.6% surviving five years or more (Table 3.1 shows five-year survival data that is not age-standardised).1,2 The survival rates for women are similar, with 41.7% expected to survive for one year or more. Five-year age-standardised data is not available for females but the un-standardised rates show that 17.5% survive their disease for at least five years. Broadly similar rates have been reported for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.3-5

Table 3.1: Stomach cancer (C16), 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**
Male 42.2 17.7 13.7
Female 41.7 17.5 13.1

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 stomach cancer survival continues to fall beyond five years after diagnosis (Table 3.1).6

The five-year relative survival rates for stomach cancer are among the lowest of the 21 most common cancers in England.1 A contributing factor to the low survival rates of stomach cancer is that usually when the disease is at an early stage, and easiest to treat, there are very few symptoms. These symptoms tend to appear later when the cancer has progressed. Although 38% of cases of stomach cancer are diagnosed by either GP referral or via a two-week wait, the survival rates are still quite low.7

section reviewed 02/05/12
section updated 02/05/12

By age 

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

The five-year relative survival rates for stomach cancer in men in England during 2005-2009 ranged from 27% in 15-39 year olds to 9% in 80-99 year olds (Figure 3.1).1 Relative survival was similar in women for all of the age groups, ranging from 31% in 40-49 year olds to 7% in 80-99 year olds.

Figure 3.1: Stomach Cancer (C16), Five-Year Relative Survival Rates by Age, England 2005-2009

surv_5yr_age_stomach.swf

Download this chart XLS (53KB)

 

section reviewed 02/05/12
section updated 02/05/12

Trends over time

As with the majority of cancers, relative survival for stomach cancer is improving. This can generally be attributed to faster diagnosis 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.8 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 cancers with low survival rates such as stomach cancer, will be a priority.

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 stomach cancer increased from 13% in England and Wales during 1971-1975 to 42.2% in England during 2005-2009 (Figure 3.2).1,9-11 In women, one-year relative survival rates increased from 15% to 41.7% during the same time periods, respectively.

Figure 3.2: Stomach Cancer (C16), Age-standardised One-Year Relative Survival Rates, England and Wales 1971-1999 and England 2003-2009

surv_1yr_stomach.swf

Download this chart XLS (55KB)

Survival rates are for England only from 2003 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 stomach cancer increased from 4% in England and Wales during 1971-1975 to 17.7%** in England during 2005-2009 (Figure 3.3).1,9,10,12 In women, five-year relative survival rates increased from 5% to 17.5%** during the same time periods, respectively.

Figure 3.3: Stomach Cancer (C16), Age-Standardised Five-Year Relative Survival Rates, England and Wales 1971-1999 and England 2001-2009

surv_5yr_stomach.swf

Download this chart XLS (55KB)

Survival rates are for England only from 2001 onwards
Survival rates for 2005-2009 are not age-standardised

Ten-year relative survival rates for men diagnosed with stomach cancer increased from 4% in England and Wales during 1971-1975 to a predicted** 13.7% in England in 2007 (Figure 3.4).2,13  In women, ten-year relative survival rates increased from 5% to a predicted** 13.1% during the same time periods, respectively.

Figure 3.4: Stomach cancer (C16), Age-Standardised Ten-Year Relative Survival Rates, England and Wales 1971-1995 and Predicted **2007

surv_10yr_stomach.swf

Download this chart XLS (54KB)


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 02/05/12
section updated 02/05/12

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References for stomach 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 stomach. Accessed September 2011.
  5. Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR). Cancer Survival Online Statistics. Stomach. Accessed September 2011.
  6. 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.
  7. National Cancer Intelligence Unit (NCIN). Routes to Diagnosis. London: NCIN; 2010.
  8. Department of Health. Improving outcomes: a strategy for cancer. London: Department of Health; 2011.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. For data for 2003-2007: Office for National Statistics (ONS). Cancer survival in England, patients diagnosed 2003-2007, followed up to 2008. London: ONS; 2010.
  12. For data for 2001-2006: Office for National Statistics (ONS). Cancer survival rates, Survival Rates in England, patients diagnosed 2001-2006 followed up to 2007. London: ONS; 2009.
  13. Cancer Research UK. CancerStats report. Survival – England and Wales. London: Cancer Research UK; 2004.
Updated: 3 September 2012