More People Surviving Cancer Number of survivors rises 20% in six years By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Mar 11, 2011 11:05 AM CST 0 comments Comments More people are surviving cancer, a new federal survey suggests. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – More people than ever can call themselves cancer survivors, according to new federal stats. Highlights from the New York Times: One in 20 adults has survived some form of the disease, including one in five people over age 65. The total number of survivors rose to 11.7 million in 2007, up from 9.8 million in 2001 and 3 million in 1971. About 65% of survivors have lived five years or more since diagnosis, 40% have lived at least 10 years, and 10% at least 25 years. Researchers credit the improved numbers in part to better treatment, but the Times points out a few caveats. For one thing, more aggressive screening is increasing the number of people diagnosed—for prostate cancer, especially—even if the cancer is slow-growing and unlikely to be fatal. It also notes that the overall death rate from the disease has remained constant, at about 200 deaths per 100,000 people a year. Still, says the CDC chief, the new numbers should dispel the notion that "cancer is a death sentence."