Fewer words evoke more terror than being told you have cancer. 

But leading experts now say the disease is slowly morphing into a controllable condition instead of the killer that has struck fear into the hearts of millions for decades.  

Survival rates for some forms of cancer could double in the next decade, some oncologists believe.

Experts from the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London today claimed cutting-edge technologies are on the cusp of revolutionising cancer care forever, curing some patients and helping others live far longer. 

Breakthroughs could see patients ‘infected’ with genetically-modified viruses that purposely seek out and destroy cancer cells, alongside existing treatments like radiotherapy.

Setting out a strategy for the next five years, the scientists said that cancers could become ‘extinct’ in a patient by disrupting the ‘ecosystem’ tumours rely upon to survive within the body.   

Cancer survival rates have already come leaps and bounds in the last 50 years.

Fascinating data from Cancer Research UK shows in the 1970s patients battling breast or prostate cancers, two of the most common forms of the disease, only had a 40 per cent and 25 per cent chance of surviving for a decade after diagnosis, respectively.

But, if diagnosed today, the 10-year survival rate for these and other cancers have now almost doubled. In some cases they’ve even tripled.