You get a biopsy done, come back to the doctor's office a week later, and hear those dreaded words, "You have cancer." This defining moment in your life can be earth-shattering as you start to think about radiation, chemotherapy, or taking other drugs for treatment. Although the incidence of cancer has grown in the U.S., not all cancers are deadly; some can be easily treated.

Some doctors have started to use another word for cancer: cure. Although there are no guarantees when it comes to cancer recovery, medical experts have found success in finding and treating some cancers. To determine the odds of survival for each cancer, doctors refer to the 5-year survival rate. This is the percentage of people who have been cancer-free 5 years after diagnosis, according to the American Cancer Society. Patients may still die from cancer or have cancerous cells in their body, but they have better odds of recovery.

Below are the 7 most curable cancers with strong 5-year survival rates.

Cervical Cancer

5-Year Survival Rate: About 100 percent

Cervical cancer is one of the most treatable cancers because of the effective methods available to detect the cancer. The quick Pap test detects the presence of abnormal cells on the cervix before they're even cancerous. However, if cancer cells appear on the cervix, they're growing at a very slow rate. If these cells are diagnosed at a precancerous stage, they can be treated before they develop and spread.

Breast Cancer (Early stages of 0 and 1)

5-Year Survival Rate: 100 Percent

There are two types of stage 0 in breast cancer: ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which occurs when breast cells develop in the breast ducts; and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), which occurs when abnormal cells develop in the lobules. In breast cancer stage 1, if the tumor is smaller than the size of a peanut (2 centimeters or smaller), it is very treatable and survivable. The survival rate is similar to stage 0: 100 percent, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Testicular Cancer

5-Year Survival Rate: 95.3 percent

Doctors can cure testicular cancer during its early stages, or when the tumor hasn't spread to other body parts. Typically, doctors will perform surgery to remove one or both testicles that have a tumor. Most patients have one testicle removed, while the other will produce enough hormones for them to have sex, and reproduce. Surgery and a combination of radiation or chemotherapy is effective in eliminating cancer cells.

A 2014 article in the Journal of Clinical Oncology considers the advances in the treatment of testicular cancer one of the greatest achievements in medicine. This is particularly due to the approval of the chemo drug cisplatin in 1978, which boosted survival rates for this type of cancer. Although it's treated successfully in 95 percent of cases, early treatment can raise that rate to 98 percent, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Prostate Cancer

5-Year Survival Rate: About 100 percent

Prostate tumors can grow at a slow rate, or don’t grow at all. These tumors are not deemed harmful enough to require treatment, with many men leading a normal life, without any complications. A 2016 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found no difference in survival rates among men who were randomly assigned to surgery, radiation or monitoring. Those who underwent surgery or radiation cut in half the risk that the disease would spread to bones and lymph nodes, compared with those who were simply monitored. Although treatment did not extend life during the first 10 years, a survival benefit may emerge in the next five or 10 years, according to the researchers.


5-Year Survival Rate: 91.5 percent

Melanoma is considered to have a high survival rate, because it's usually very easy to spot while it's still in its early stages. You can check the skin for large, dark, oddly shaped, or raised blotches. The Skin Cancer Foundation says if it's not treated early, it can advance and spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes far more difficult to treat and can be fatal. It's important to check your back, scalp, scrotum, and in between your toes.

Thyroid (Depends on tissue type)

5-Year Survival Rate: About 100 percent

The thyroid gland — located in your neck — helps produce hormones the body needs to burn calories, and control heartbeat. Papillary, the most common type of thyroid cancer, grows slowly. When tumors are large, or start to grow into other nearby tissues, doctors can treat and even cure the disease with surgery by removing the gland. Once the thyroid is removed, patients take medicine to replace the hormones the thyroid would make.

Hodgkin Lymphoma

5-Year Survival Rate: About 95 percent

Typically, some forms of lymphoma do not respond well to treatment, but Hodgkin lymphoma, characterized by Reed-Sternberg cells, is extremely curable. Patients diagnosed with early stages of this lymphoma have a survival rate of 90 to 95 percent, because it responds well to chemotherapy and radiation treatments. However, people diagnosed at later stages will still have a good chance at recovery. Patients who survive 15 years after treatment are more likely to later die from causes other than Hodgkin’s disease.