The outlook for some types of cancer previously considered dire may be improving, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Cancer of the pancreas is usually associated with poor survival, yet the nation’s latest report on cancer seems to suggest that even for this type of cancer, things may be improving. That’s according to William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.

Nelson: There’s even a little hope with pancreas cancer, there’s some sense that the five year survival for pancreas cancer is improving. Lately lung cancer treatment and melanoma treatment has taken a real shot in the arm to kick into higher gear, and the treatments are starting to become more and more effective. So it tells you that almost all of the factors that we bet on to try and control cancer, stopping smoking, screening, paying close attention to lesions on the skin, mammography, and improved treatment are all conspiring to give us a better outlook for cancer.  :30

Nelson notes that lung cancer too used to be associated with shorter survival, but now many people are living longer with the condition. He does note that the first thing people can do to improve their odds of not developing lung cancer is not to smoke. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.