Survival rates indicate the percentage of people with a certain type and stage of cancer who survive the disease for a specific period of time after their diagnosis. In most cases, statistics refer to the 5-year survival rate. The 5-year survival rate is the percentage of people who are alive 5 years after diagnosis, whether they have few or no signs or symptoms of cancer, are free of disease, or are having treatment. Survival rates are based on large groups of people and they cannot be used to predict what will happen to a particular patient. No two patients are exactly alike, and treatment and responses to treatment vary greatly.
The American Cancer Society estimated that 11,960 people (6,530 men and 5,430 women) would be diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2005.
The AML prognosis will depend on:
- The patient's age, general health, and number of white blood cells in the blood at diagnosis
- Whether the AML was caused by previous anticancer treatment
- The subtype of AML
- How well the leukemia responds to initial treatment
- Whether the AML is untreated or has recurred (come back) after being treated
- Whether there is a history of a blood disorder such as myelodysplastic syndrome
- Whether the AML has spread to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) or to other parts of the body.
Survival rates can be calculated by different methods for different purposes. The acute myeloid leukemia survival rates presented here are based on the relative survival rate. The relative survival rate measures the survival of cancer patients in comparison to the general population to estimate the effect of cancer. The overall 5-year relative acute myeloid leukemia (AML) survival rate for 1995-2001 was 19.8 percent.
The 5-year relative AML survival rates by race and sex were:
- 17.9 percent Caucasian men
- 20.6 percent Caucasian women
- 25.5 percent African American men
- 19.2 percent African American women.