Blood cancer survival rates growing faster than any other cancer

Doctor

New statistics suggest the survival rate for blood cancer is outpacing the survival rate of any other cancer.

The Canadian Cancer Society released data this morning that says overall survival rates have improved to 63 per cent -- up eight percentage points since the early 1990s.

The most gains have been among common blood cancers, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma and leukemia.

The survival rate for these cancers increased 16 to 19 percentage points.

Researchers say that's largely due to advancements in precision medicine -- which are customized treatments based on a person's genes or other unique features of the cancer the person has.

Society spokeswoman Leah Smith says this is the first year in several years the organization has had updated data on cancer survival rates.

An estimated 21-thousand Canadians are expected to be diagnosed with blood cancer in 2019, representing about 10 per cent of all cancer diagnoses that year.

The data was collected in conjunction with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Statistics Canada.