There are two types of 5-year survival rate i.e. absolute and relative survival rates, of which the latter is more commonly used.
– Five year absolute survival rate refers to the percentage of people suffering from a similar disease, who are alive five years after the disease is diagnosed. That means, it does not consider the general population and relies on the percentage of the people with the disease.
– Five year relative survival rate refers to the percentage of people suffering from a similar disease alive five years after the disease is diagnosed, divided by the percentage of the overall population alive after five years. For instance, if the 5-year relative survival rate for a specific stage of cancer is 90%, it means that patients who have cancer are, on average, about 90% as likely as people who don’t have cancer to live for at least 5 years after being diagnosed.