Survival rates indicate the percentage of people with the same type and stage of cancer that are alive for a certain amount of time (usually 5 years) after they were diagnosed. While it is impossible to predict how long one will live, it does somewhat gives both patient and and doctor what to expect from treatment.
Read more on hospice care and family support for for stomach cancer.
It is important to note that survival rates are calculated approximately and that they are often based on can sometimes be vague and lead to more questions. Talking to the healthcare and support team might help patients and caregivers familiarize themselves with these things.
A relative survival rate compares people with the same type and stage of cancer to people in the overall population. For example, if the 5-year relative survival rate for a specific stage of stomach cancer is 65%, it means that people who have that cancer are, on average, about 65% as likely as people who don’t have that cancer to live for at least 5 years after being diagnosed.
The American Cancer Society relies on information from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program database, maintained by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), provides survival statistics for different types of cancer. The SEER database tracks 5-year relative survival rates for stomach cancer in the United States, based on how far the cancer has spread. The SEER database, however, does not group cancers by AJCC TNM stages (stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, etc.). Instead, it groups cancers into localized (where there is no sign that the cancer has spread outside the stomach), regional (where the cancer has spread outside the stomach to lymph nodes), and distant stages (where the cancer has metastasized to different parts of the world).