A version of this post previously appeared on PACE Network USA’s blog.
13 million cancer survivors live in the U.S.-- more than double the number of survivors since 1990. In addition, the cancer mortality rate over the last two decades has dropped by 20%. Though we have not yet found cures for the more than 200 types of cancer, these statistics show that continuous medical innovations work everyday to improve patient lives, one step at a time.
Thanks to continuous medical innovation, those affected by cancer have lived an additional51 million life-years since 1990. In fact, advances have allowed more cancer patients tosurvive their diagnoses while improving quality of life. With even more possibilities for patients in development, we can continue to make strides in cancer research.
Every new development matters to those with cancer. For some patients, meaningful progress equates to longer than expected survival rates, enabling them to spend extra time with loved ones. But in other cases, less severe or fewer side-effects that result in a better quality of life may be just as important to patients and their families. And some patients can benefit from both a longer and side-effect free life, like former MLB pitcher and current college professor, Bob Tufts. When Tufts was diagnosed with a high risk form of bone marrow cancer, he experienced the fruits of innovation first-hand, responding well to a new treatment regimen. Four years later, he takes this life-saving medicine like a daily multi-vitamin, which allows him to live his life free from cancer.
As we make progress against cancer, we must not lose sight of the big value that each step can have for those affected by cancer. By working together to accelerate continuous innovation we can give patients more hope for fuller, longer lives spent with loved ones.