Improved cancer treatments has saved the lives of more than 5,600 children since the 1970s, according to new figures. Scientists compared the survival rates of children with cancer from 1971 to 2005. In the early 1970s, only about a third of children with leukaemia, the most common childhood cancer, lived five years or more. Today, their survival rate is more than 80%. Similarly survival rates for neuroblastoma, a cancer affecting nerve tissue, have risen from just 17% to 64%. Taking the two diseases together, at least 5,600 more children lived at least five years over the 34-year study period than would have done if survival had not increased.
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