Blood cancer survival rates in Canada on the rise, report finds

David Mitchell of Ottawa is cancer-free, attributed to a stem-cell transplant treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The survival rate for common blood cancers is up 16 to 19 percentage points, according to the Canadian Cancer Society. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

(Canadian Press) — There was a time David Mitchell didn’t believe he would survive until his 50th birthday. But he reached that milestone earlier this year, thanks to a life-saving stem cell transplant to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

“They basically said, ‘Yup, there is zero sign of cancer anywhere,”‘ the Ottawa resident recalls of a checkup that followed previous failed rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. “It was astounding.”

The Canadian Cancer Society says Mitchell can count himself among the growing number of people who are surviving blood cancer due to precision medicine — treatments based on a person’s genes or other unique features of the person’s cancer.

New statistics released Wednesday suggest the survival rate for blood cancers is outpacing the survival rate of any other cancer. (…)

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