Cancer Survival Rates

Survival Rates at Every Stage Among the Best in the Nation

When the patient comes first, excellence follows. The Floyd & Delores Jones Cancer Institute at Virginia Mason is where our nationally acclaimed oncology team fights cancer. With a personal focus on each patient across every moment, amazing outcomes happen here.

Our approach to treatment has made the Cancer Institute one of the top cancer centers in the U.S., with survival rates at every stage among the best in the nation. We credit these outcomes to the understanding that no cancer is “typical” and we design a unique course of treatment for each patient that provides the best chance for recovery. These unique treatment plans are developed by a multidisciplinary team that closely monitors each patient throughout the course of treatment. Our targeted and focused approach results in improved outcomes, shorter courses of care and a reduced financial burden. Learn more about cancer care at Virginia Mason by calling (206) 223-6193.

See below for Virginia Mason survival rates for specific cancers at each stage.


Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer survival rates

It is estimated that 74,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with bladder cancer this year*. There is no screening available for bladder cancer, however it is usually detected early because of blood in the urine or frequency or urgency of urination. The following are the 5-year survival rates for patients diagnosed and/or treated at Virginia Mason compared to the National Cancer Institute (SEER) benchmark data.

Stages Key

5-year survival rates for bladder cancer.

  • Localized: Cancer is limited to the organ in which it began, without evidence of spread
  • Regional (“Advanced”): Cancer has spread beyond the primary site to nearby lymph nodes and/or tissues and organs
  • Distant (“Metastatic”): Cancer has spread from the primary site to distant tissues or organs or to distant lymph nodes

Back to top


Breast Cancer

Breast cancer survival rates

It is estimated that 234,190 people in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year*. There is screening available for breast cancer including mammography and clinical breast examination. As a result, early detection has resulted in high rates of survival across the country while within the localized stage. The following are the 5-year survival rates for patients diagnosed and/or treated at Virginia Mason compared to the National Cancer Institute (SEER) benchmark data.

Stages Key

5-year survival rates for breast cancer.

  • Localized: Cancer is limited to the organ in which it began, without evidence of spread
  • Regional (“Advanced”): Cancer has spread beyond the primary site to nearby lymph nodes and/or tissues and organs
  • Distant (“Metastatic”): Cancer has spread from the primary site to distant tissues or organs or to distant lymph nodes

Back to top


Colon Cancer

Colon cancer survival rates

It is estimated that 93,090 people in the United States will be diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer this year*. Screening is available for colon and rectal cancer to detect these cancers early. The following are the 5-year survival rates for patients diagnosed and/or treated at Virginia Mason compared to the National Cancer Institute (SEER) benchmark data.

Stages Key

5-year survival rates for colon cancer.

  • Localized: Cancer is limited to the organ in which it began, without evidence of spread
  • Regional (“Advanced”): Cancer has spread beyond the primary site to nearby lymph nodes and/or tissues and organs
  • Distant (“Metastatic”): Cancer has spread from the primary site to distant tissues or organs or to distant lymph nodes

Back to top


Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer survival rates

It is estimated that 16,980 people in the United States will be diagnosed with esophageal cancer this year*. Screening is not available for esophageal cancer. As a result it is usually at an advanced stage at the point of diagnosis. The following are the 5-year survival rates for patients diagnosed and/or treated at Virginia Mason compared to the National Cancer Institute (SEER) benchmark data.

Stages Key

5-year survival rates for esophageal cancer.

  • Localized: Cancer is limited to the organ in which it began, without evidence of spread
  • Regional (“Advanced”): Cancer has spread beyond the primary site to nearby lymph nodes and/or tissues and organs
  • Distant (“Metastatic”): Cancer has spread from the primary site to distant tissues or organs or to distant lymph nodes

Back to top


Head and Neck Cancer

Head and Neck cancer survival rates

It is estimated that 45,780 people in the United States will be diagnosed with head and neck cancer this year*. Screening is not available for head and neck cancer. As a result, it is usually at an advanced stage at the point of diagnosis. Tobacco use, alcohol use and human papillomavirus infection are important risk factors for head and neck cancers. The following are the 5-year survival rates for patients diagnosed and/or treated at Virginia Mason compared to the National Cancer Institute (SEER) benchmark data.

Stages Key

5-year survival rates for head and neck cancer.

  • Localized: Cancer is limited to the organ in which it began, without evidence of spread
  • Regional (“Advanced”): Cancer has spread beyond the primary site to nearby lymph nodes and/or tissues and organs
  • Distant (“Metastatic”): Cancer has spread from the primary site to distant tissues or organs or to distant lymph nodes

Back to top


Lung Cancer

Lung cancer survival rates

It is estimated that 221,200 people in the United States will be diagnosed with lung and bronchus cancer this year*.  Screening is available for lung cancer using spiral computed tomography (CAT scan). Symptoms do not usually occur until the cancer is advanced, placing high importance on screening for patients who meet criteria. The following are the 5-year survival rates for patients diagnosed and/or treated at Virginia Mason compared to the National Cancer Institute (SEER) benchmark data.

Stages Key

5-year survival rates for lung cancer.

  • Localized: Cancer is limited to the organ in which it began, without evidence of spread
  • Regional (“Advanced”): Cancer has spread beyond the primary site to nearby lymph nodes and/or tissues and organs
  • Distant (“Metastatic”): Cancer has spread from the primary site to distant tissues or organs or to distant lymph nodes

Back to top


Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer survival rates

It is estimated that 21,290 people in the United States will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year*. The most important risk factor is a strong history of breast or ovarian cancer. The following are the 5-year survival rates for patients diagnosed and/or treated at Virginia Mason compared to the National Cancer Institute (SEER) benchmark data.

Stages Key

5-year survival rates for ovarian cancer.

  • Localized: Cancer is limited to the organ in which it began, without evidence of spread
  • Regional (“Advanced”): Cancer has spread beyond the primary site to nearby lymph nodes and/or tissues and organs
  • Distant (“Metastatic”): Cancer has spread from the primary site to distant tissues or organs or to distant lymph nodes

Back to top


Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma survival rates

It is estimated that more than 71,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma this year*. The most common symptoms of lymphoma include enlarged lymph nodes, fever, itching, drenching sweats, weight loss and feeling fatigued. The following are the 5-year survival rates for patients diagnosed or treated at Virginia Mason compared to the National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER) benchmark data.

Stages Key

5-year survival rates for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

  • Localized: Cancer is limited to the organ in which it began, without evidence of spread
  • Regional (“Advanced”): Cancer has spread beyond the primary site to nearby lymph nodes and/or tissues and organs
  • Distant (“Metastatic”): Cancer has spread from the primary site to distant tissues or organs or to distant lymph nodes

Back to top


Pancreas Cancer

Pancreas cancer survival rates

It is estimated that 48,960 people in the United States will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year*. There is no current screening for this cancer. As a result it is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage. Virginia Mason has been a national and international leader in the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer. The following are the 5-year survival rates for patients diagnosed and/or treated at Virginia Mason compared to the National Cancer Institute (SEER) benchmark data.

Stages Key

5-year survival rates for pancreatic cancer.

  • Localized: Cancer is limited to the organ in which it began, without evidence of spread
  • Regional (“Advanced”): Cancer has spread beyond the primary site to nearby lymph nodes and/or tissues and organs
  • Distant (“Metastatic”): Cancer has spread from the primary site to distant tissues or organs or to distant lymph nodes

Back to top


Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer survival rates

It is estimated that 220,800 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year*. Early prostate cancer usually has no symptoms. As the disease advances, men may experience weak or interrupted urine flow during the day along with frequent urination at night. The following are the 5-year survival rates for patients diagnosed and/or treated at Virginia Mason compared to the National Cancer Institute (SEER) benchmark data.

Stages Key

5-year survival rates for prostate cancer.

  • Localized: Cancer is limited to the organ in which it began, without evidence of spread
  • Regional (“Advanced”): Cancer has spread beyond the primary site to nearby lymph nodes and/or tissues and organs
  • Distant (“Metastatic”): Cancer has spread from the primary site to distant tissues or organs or to distant lymph nodes

Back to top


Rectal Cancer

Rectal cancer survival rates

It is estimated that 93,090 people in the United States will be diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer this year*. Screening is available for colon and rectal cancer to detect these cancers early. The following are the 5-year survival rates for patients diagnosed and/or treated at Virginia Mason compared to the National Cancer Institute (SEER) benchmark data.

Stages Key

5-year survival rates for rectal cancer.

  • Localized: Cancer is limited to the organ in which it began, without evidence of spread
  • Regional (“Advanced”): Cancer has spread beyond the primary site to nearby lymph nodes and/or tissues and organs
  • Distant (“Metastatic”): Cancer has spread from the primary site to distant tissues or organs or to distant lymph nodes

Back to top


Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer survival rates

It is estimated that 74,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with kidney cancer this year*. There is no screening available for kidney cancer, however it is usually detected early because of blood in the urine or frequency or urgency of urination. The following are the 5-year survival rates for patients diagnosed and/or treated at Virginia Mason compared to the National Cancer Institute (SEER) benchmark data.

Stages Key

5-year survival rates for Kidney cancer.

  • Localized: Cancer is limited to the organ in which it began, without evidence of spread
  • Regional (“Advanced”): Cancer has spread beyond the primary site to nearby lymph nodes and/or tissues and organs
  • Distant (“Metastatic”): Cancer has spread from the primary site to distant tissues or organs or to distant lymph nodes

Back to top


Skin Cancer

Skin cancer survival rates

It is estimated that 80,100 people in the United States will be diagnosed with melanoma/skin cancer this year*. Important warning signs to detect melanoma include changes in the color, shape or size of a mole/skin lesion, a new growth on the skin or a sore that will not heal overtime. The following are the 5-year survival rates for patients diagnosed and/or treated at Virginia Mason compared to the National Cancer Institute (SEER) benchmark data.

Stages Key

5-year survival rates for skin cancer.

  • Localized: Cancer is limited to the organ in which it began, without evidence of spread
  • Regional (“Advanced”): Cancer has spread beyond the primary site to nearby lymph nodes and/or tissues and organs
  • Distant (“Metastatic”): Cancer has spread from the primary site to distant tissues or organs or to distant lymph nodes

Back to top


Data Collection Methodology

Data presented in estimated 5-year cancer survival is based on a comparison of the National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program using data analyzed from 2004-2011 with patients diagnosed during the same period and received most or all treatment at Virginia Mason.

Methods and Limitations

Five-year observed survival rates are estimated using the actuarial method, death from any cause (cancer related and non-cancer specific death) is used to determine overall survival. To ensure a high level of comparison, Virginia Mason 5-year survival was adjusted to match the cancer specific summary stage distribution of the National Cancer Institute (SEER) Program. The following is a brief description of the summary stages used by the National Cancer Institute (SEER) Program: 

  • Localized: Cancer is limited to the organ in which it began, without evidence of spread
  • Regional (“Advanced”): Cancer has spread beyond the primary site to nearby lymph nodes and/or or tissues and organs
  • Distant (“Metastatic”): Cancer has spread from the primary site to distant tissues or organs or to distant lymph nodes

View a full explanation of summary staging used by the National Cancer Institute (SEER) Program: Survival comparisons are not risk or age adjusted and statistical analysis comparing differences in observed survival were not performed.

For reference:
*American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts and Figures 2015