The trend for leukemia survival is improving, thanks to research efforts and the approval of new, effective therapies to treat leukemia. In researching leukemia, you may encounter different statistics related to survival, incidence, and outcomes for specific treatments. Since leukemia is different in every patient, we encourage you to discuss your specific disease and prognosis with your doctor.
Understanding survival rates
When looking at statistics, it’s important to understand that statistics cannot and do not tell you what will happen to you — they can tell you only what has happened to others. How relevant the statistics are for you depends on how similar those other patients are to you, including age, race, leukemia subtype, and types of treatment received.
- There are several ways of measuring survival. It’s common for cancer statistics to describe survival in terms of five-year relative survival. This refers to the number of individuals still living five years after being diagnosed with leukemia.
- The five-year relative survival rate includes all individuals diagnosed with leukemia. It includes everyone who received treatment, as well as everyone who did not.
- A number of factors, including your age, the stage of your disease, and your particular leukemia subtype, can have a significant impact on your prognosis. However, none of these factors can conclusively predict your prognosis because leukemia is different in every patient.