Stage at diagnosis of cancer is an important factor that affects cancer outcomes. Earlier diagnosis, that is, usually when cancers are diagnosed at stages 1 and 2 as opposed to stages 3 and 4, is associated with better prognosis on average.
Net survival estimates by stage at diagnosis for 1- and 5-years are presented for 23 cancer sites/groups. Estimates by stage are not available for brain, non-Hodgkin lymphoma (including follicular (nodular) non-Hodgkin lymphoma and large cell (diffuse) lymphoma), leukaemia (including myeloid leukaemia), pancreas and small intestine. This is because of complexities within different subtypes of a cancer site or because staging systems do not exist for all or some subtypes of the cancer. For some cancer groups/sites, survival estimates by stage were not robust enough to present and have not been included in the commentary or data tables.
Cancer survival varies by cancer site/group and by stage at diagnosis. The range in 5-year age-standardised net survival for all stages combined is from 6.3% (mesothelioma for males) to 94.8% (melanoma for females). The range in 5-year age-standardised net survival by stage ranges from 3.2% (stage 4 lung cancer for males) to 101.1% (stage 1 melanoma for females). A survival of over 100% means fewer people are dying than would be expected in the general population, see the Interpretation of these statistics chapter for more details.
Net survival for all stages combined is affected by the proportion of cases diagnosed at each stage, which varies considerably by cancer site/group. For some cancer sites/groups, the survival for all stages combined is close to that for early stage diagnoses, for example, uterine cancer. While for other cancer sites/groups it is closer to that for later stage diagnoses, for example, colorectal cancer.