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In my experience it is commonly communicated that certain types of cancer have a higher rate of mortality than others. For instance1, pancreatic cancer has a very poor prognosis while the prognosis for breast cancer is in contrast quite good.

Of course the prognosis of each cancer and eventually the mortality rate is a highly complex topic, which progressively worsens depending on the stage of the cancer, on the individual patient, et cetera. But all in all, there seems to be that the mortality rate fluctuates substantially depending on the cancer type.

My Question:

Is there a current concencus in the medical community, what factors specifically give rise to the observed fatality rates depending on the cancer type? Can the main reasons be traced back to cell biology or the biochemical machinery of a cancer cell of a certain tissue that makes one cancer type more deadly than the other? Do other pathophysiological factors play an even more important role to explain that, e.g. breast cancer2 has a better prognosis than ovarian cancer? Can the differences in mortality mainly be attributed to the lack of vital, clear early detection and screening tests for some more fatal cancers?


Footnotes & References:

1 vide, e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cancer_mortality_rates_in_the_United_States although, CAVE: the specific values in this table are already outdated and the most recent developments and advances in treatment and diagnosis are not reflected in the data.

2 vide https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breast_cancer#Prognosis

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