Chance of a cure

One of you biggest concerns on learning your child has cancer is whether they can be cured. Older children are likely to share these concerns. It is important to reassure them that doctors expect to cure most children with cancer.

Due to major advances in treatment, many children treated for cancer now survive into adulthood. Children diagnosed with cancer between 2004 and 2012 have a 5-year survival rate of 85%. In the 1980s, the 5-year survival rate for all cancers was about 73%.1

Talk to your child’s doctor about your child’s diagnosis, treatments and long-term survival. Long-term survival is also called the outlook or prognosis. It on depends several things, including:

  • age of your child at diagnosis
  • extent or stage of the cancer
  • how the cancer cells look under a microscope (the shape, function and structure of the cells)
  • how the cancer responds to treatment
  • cancer or tumour biology, which includes
    • the patterns of the cancer cells
    • how different the cancer cells are from normal cells
    • how fast the cancer cells are growing.

To learn more about survival for liver (hepatic) tumours children, visit Australian Cancer Childhood Statistics Online.