There are over 200 different types of cancer. The course of the diseases and their treatment options vary greatly.
Different cancer types also vary from patient to patient. A single diagnosis – breast cancer for example – is often a generic term for many different kinds of cancers, which respond differently to treatment. A particular therapy will also not affect all women in the same way.
However, very effective treatments have been developed for some cancer types, particularly if the disease is diagnosed early on, before it has spread to other parts of the body. Researchers are cautious and prefer to speak of treatment success in terms of survival rates.
In Germany, survival rates in the five years following diagnosis currently range from 90 percent for prostate, testicular and skin (malignant melanoma) cancer patients, to 20 percent for lung and oesophageal cancer. Pancreatic cancer has the poorest prognosis, with only ten patients out of 100 still alive five years after diagnosis.
Dr Regine Hagmann of the Cancer Information Service (KID) answered this question.
For further in-depth information on the topic, please visit the Cancer Information Service at the German Cancer Research Center websites (available in German only):