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With the advancements in medical technology of cancer detection and treatment, it has led to an increase in the numbers of people surviving and living with cancer for longer periods of time. Many people diagnosed with cancer now live a long time after treatment.

‘Cancer survivor’ means different things to different people. For some, a cancer survivor is anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer. Others use the term to refer to people who are alive many years after their cancer treatment.

The transition from patient to survivor is different for everyone. Some see themselves as a survivor from when they become free from signs of cancer. Others see themselves as a survivor when active treatment stops.

Survivors may expect life to return to what it was like before the cancer diagnosis. For many people, though, it isn’t that simple. The reality is often more emotionally and physically complex. Here are some tips:

Keep a diary: writing down might help in expressing your feeling

Do things at your own pace: Avoid pressure to make decisions or start new activities straight away. Plan rest time between activities.

Stay connected: Staying connected with the world through work, hobbies, or time spent with family and friends, may help you see a life outside of cancer and provide time out from your worries.

Share feeling: Share your feelings and worries with family and friends.

Pick up a hobby: Practise some form of relaxation, such as meditation, visualisation, yoga or deep breathing.

Join a support group: Speaking with other cancer survivors may help you cope and make you feel more optimistic about the future.

Learn more about survivorship, call us at 03-2691 7624 or visit:

Cancer prognosis

Cancer prognosis is term referred to estimated outcome of cancer diagnosis, particularly the chances of recovery or recurrence after treatment.To explain better, your treating oncologist might explain your prognosis using survival rate, of which cancer-specific as well as staging-specific.In general, detecting and diagnosing as well as treating cancer early may have a better treatment outcome and higher survival rate.

5-year survival rate

Is the percentage of people who live at least 5 years after being diagnosed with cancer.  E.g: 5-year surivival rate of 90% meant that out of 100 people who have that 5-year survival rate are varied based on types of cancer as well as respective stages upon diagnosis.

Relative 5-year survival rate in Malaysia and United States of America

Type of cancer Stage at diagnosis point 5-year relative survival rate (%) in Malaysia 5-year relative survival rate (%) in United States of America
1 Female Breast I 87.5 99.0
II 80.7 93.0
III 59.7 72.0
IV 23.3 22.0
2 Colorectal I 75.8 92.0
II 72.5 65.0 – 87.0
III 55.6 53.0 – 90.0
IV 17.3 12.0
3 Lung, Trachea & Bronchus I 37.1 68.0 – 92.0
II 17.4 53.0 – 60.0
III 7.5 13.0 – 36.0
IV 6.3 1.0 – 10.0
4 Nasopharynx I 63.7 72.0
II 59.1 64.0
III 50.2 62.0
IV 26.9 38.0
5 Cervix Uteri I 75.3 80.0 – 93.0
II 52.3 58.0 – 63.0
III 32.1 32.0 – 35.0
IV 23.0 15.0 – 16.0

*National Cancer Registry, National Cancer Institute, Ministry of Health Malaysia (2018). Malaysian Study on Cancer Survival (MySCan).


For cancer information,
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