Cancer survival

National statistics of cancer survival

The National Agency for Cancer Registration, up to 2019 the NICER Coordination Centre, regularly publishes information on population-based cancer survival along with incidence, mortality and prevalence, in order to provide a comprehensive picture of the cancer situation in Switzerland.

Cancer survival estimates are important for assessing the overall effectiveness of health systems. It entails comparing survival between sub-populations in Switzerland, or with other countries, and the observation of time trends.

A «survival proportion» (often termed survival «rate») is defined as the proportion of patients alive at certain intervals after their diagnosis, and the «survival time« as the temporal interval between diagnosis until death or until last known date when the patient was alive.

It is expected that successes in the fight against cancer gives rise to larger proportions of cancer patients alive and prolonged survival times due to postponing or even preventing death with cancer as the cause. On the other hand, larger survival proportions and longer survival times cannot always be equated with improved survival in the intended sense. «survival time» may also be prolonged simply by earlier diagnosis, even if (theoretically) the date of death remains unchanged. Earlier diagnosis is in many cases effective in postponing or preventing death due to cancer, but it is difficult to correctly allocate surplus survival to earlier diagnosis and postponed death. Survival estimates should therefore never be interpreted in isolation, but always in concert with incidence and mortality data and together with contextual health system information.

NCC monitoring about cancer survival in Switzerland is divided in two parts:

Part A: Tabulated survival estimates for 29 cancer groups and two time periods of diagnosis.

Part B: Series of publications in the Swiss Cancer Bulletin (Schweizer Krebsbulletin) providing in-depth commentary for specific cancer types or about specific cancer survival topics.

Part A: Tabulated survival estimates for 29 cancer groups and two time periods of diagnosis.


Part B: Series of publications in the Swiss Cancer Bulletin (Schweizer Krebsbulletin) providing in-depth commentary for specific cancer types or about specific cancer survival topics.

pdf Survival improvements in multiple myeloma patients in Switzerland Swiss Cancer Bulletin 2019, 39(4), 350-353

pdf Lung cancer survival in Switzerland by histology, TNM stage and age at diagnosis. Swiss Cancer Bulletin 2019, 39(1), 69-73

pdf Survival trends for kidney cancer patients in Switzerland Swiss Cancer Bulletin 2017, 37(01), 78-83

pdf Effects of age and stage on prostate cancer survival in Switzerland Swiss Cancer Bulletin 2016, 36(4), 354-359

pdf Trends in the cancer survival gap between elderly and middle aged patients in Switzerland from 1996 to 2012 Swiss Cancer Bulletin 2015, 35(3), 249-256

pdf Effects of age and stage on breast cancer survival in Switzerland Swiss Cancer Bulletin 2015, 35(2), 152-157

pdf Survival trends for non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients in Switzerland Swiss Cancer Bulletin 2015, 35(1), 61-66

pdf Trends in survival from oesophageal cancer in Switzerland Swiss Cancer Bulletin 2014, 34(3), 227-231

pdf Trends in survival from cancer of the corpus uteri in Switzerland Swiss Cancer Bulletin 2014, 34(2), 137-142

pdf Trends in hepatic cancer survival in Switzerland Swiss Cancer Bulletin 2014, 34(1), 46-50

pdf Trends in pancreatic cancer survival in Switzerland Swiss Cancer Bulletin 2013, 33(4), 328-332

pdf Trends in stomach cancer survival in Switzerland Swiss Cancer Bulletin 2013, 33(3), 241-246

pdf Trends in bladder cancer survival in Switzerland Swiss Cancer Bulletin 2013, 33(2), 141-146

pdf Trends in prostate cancer survival in Switzerland Swiss Cancer Bulletin 2013, 33(1), 54-58

pdf Trends in lung cancer survival in Switzerland Swiss Cancer Bulletin 2012, 32(3), 240-244

pdf Trends in colorectal cancer Survival in Switzerland Swiss Cancer Bulletin 2012, 32(1), 51-54

pdf Trends in breast cancer survival in Switzerland Swiss Cancer Bulletin 2011, 31(4), 326-328