Investigations of long term survival and evidence concerning cure among children surviving at least three years after most of the more common childhood cancers treated in Britain between 1960 and 1981 are reported. The results indicate striking improvements in survival beyond three years for many childhood tumours over this period. For most childhood tumours considered over 80% of those who had survived at least three years were alive 10 years later. Comparison of mortality observed among survivors with that expected for the general population showed evidence of cure among those who had survived at least three years after non-Hodgkin lymphomas and non-genetic retinoblastoma. Survivors of other tumours, with sufficient cases surviving beyond 10 years to examine excess mortality, rarely experienced an excess that exceeded one extra death per 100 survivors per year. Children who had survived at least 10 years after other embryonal tumours, soft tissue sarcomas, or osteosarcoma never experienced an excess mortality exceeding one extra death per 200 survivors per year.
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