There is some very encouraging news for people with blood cancer.
A report published by the Canadian Cancer Society shows that the survival rate for cancers such as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and leukemia has increased more than any other cancer in the last 20 years.
This is the largest increase in cancer survival from the beginning of the 90s. The Canadian Cancer Society says the research is taking cancer treatment to a whole new level, which means that all cancer fundraisers are paying.
These are really encouraging numbers, but for Ottawa resident David Mitchell, they are much more than that. The fifty-year-old father of two was in the battle of his life four years ago, who had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and at one point, who were granted 3 weeks of life.
"I was pretty sick," says Mitchell, "I was in phase 4B, which is so bad."
A donor stem cell transplant changed the odds in his favor. September 20 will mark 3 years from what he calls his "new birthday".
"When you receive a bone marrow transplant," he explains, "you are a newborn, you have a new immune system that you hope to fight cancer.th, I will be 3 years old. "
Now, more Canadians like David are celebrating their survival after being diagnosed with blood cancer. A study called "Canadian Cancer Statistics 2019" developed by the Canadian Cancer Society, together with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Statistics Canada, shows that over a 20-year period, survival rates for blood cancers have surpassed all other cancers .
The largest increase in survival was for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma from 49% to 68%. Leukemia survival rates increased from 43% to 59% and multiple myeloma from 27% to 44%.
Mortality rates among women with breast cancer have decreased by about 48%, thanks to improvements in early diagnosis and treatment. But pancreatic cancer continues to have the lowest survival rate of all the tumors studied in the report.
"Only about 8% of the people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive at least 5 years after diagnosis," explains Dr. Leah Smith, responsible for overseeing the Canadian Cancer Society, "so this & # 39; we expect pancreatic cancer to become the third leading cause of cancer death in Canada, overcoming breast cancer ".
The report indicates that nearly 1 in 2 Canadians will develop cancer at some point in his life. Only this year, it is estimated that 220,400 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer and about 82,100 will die.
David Mitchell and his wife are taking it one day at a time right now, grateful to be in remission and I hope it will last.
"Three years is a big problem for being free from cancer," says Lenore Mitchell, "We want him to be cancer free for 10 years and free from cancer for 20 years, just to forget about it."
Overall, cancer survival rates are increasing. Now, 63% of people diagnosed will survive 5 years or more. The researchers confirm that they are moving in the right direction.