More children, teenagers surviving cancer
More children and teenagers survive cancer in the Netherlands thanks to new diagnostics and improved treatments. Of all the children and teens diagnosed with cancer in the Netherlands, 83 percent are still alive five years after diagnosis. Thirty years ago, that was still 73 percent, the Volksrkant reports based on figures from the Comprehensive Cancer Center of the Netherlands (IKNL).
The increased survival rate is due to new diagnostics enabling doctors to better localize tumors and determine the stage of cancer. That helps facilitate tailor-made and effective treatment. Treatment methods have also improved since the 90s, and doctors can provide better chemotherapy combinations. It is now also more likely for older teenagers, 15 to 17-year-olds, to end up in a pediatric oncology ward, which often offers more intensive treatment than the adult ward.
The number of new cancer diagnoses in children and teenagers has been stable at around 556 cases annually for years. The chances of survival depend enormously on the type of cancer. For example, the 5-year survival rate for Hodgkin lymphoma, germ cell tumors, and retinoblastoma is over 95 percent. In comparison, only 70 percent of children survive certain types of brain cancer for five years or more. Leukemia and brain tumors are the cancers children most often don’t survive.
In the Netherlands, about 124,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year. The 5-year survival rate is also rising for adults by about 1 percent per year. Currently, 66 percent of adults are still alive five years after a cancer diagnosis.