Abstract BACKGROUND: Persons living after a cancer diagnosis represent 4% of the whole population in high income Countries. The study aim was to provide estimates of indicators of long-term survival and cure for 26 cancer types, presently lacking. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Data on 818,902 Italian cancer patients diagnosed at age 15-74 years in 1985-2005 were included. Proportions of patients with the same death rates of the general population (cure fractions) and those of prevalent patients who were not at risk of dying as a result of cancer (cure prevalence) were calculated, using validated mixture cure models, by cancer type, sex, and age group. We also estimated complete prevalence, conditional relative survival (CRS), time to reach five- and ten-year CRS>95%, and proportion of patients living longer than those thresholds. RESULTS: The cure fractions ranged from >90% for patients aged <45 years with thyroid and testis cancers to <10% for liver and pancreatic cancers of all ages. Five- or ten-year CRS>95% were both reached in less than ten years by patients with cancers of the stomach, colon-rectum, pancreas, corpus and cervix uteri, brain, and Hodgkin lymphoma. For breast cancer patients, five- and ten-years CRSs reached >95% after 19 and 25 years, respectively, and in 15 and 18 years for prostate cancer patients. Five-year CRS remained <95% for >25 years after cancer diagnosis in patients with liver and larynx cancers, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, myeloma, and leukaemia. Overall, the cure prevalence was 67% for men and 77% for women. Therefore, 21% of male and 31% of female patients had already reached five-year CRS>95%, while 18% and 25% had reached ten-year CRS>95%. CONCLUSIONS: A quarter of Italian cancer patients can be considered cured. This observation has a high potential impact on health planning, clinical practice, and patients perspective.
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