Statistics Show Increase in US Cancer Survivors

Published: Saturday, Jul 20, 2019
The growth and aging of the population combined with advances in the early detection and treatment of cancer have resulted in a growing population of survivors across the nation, according to a study from the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute. In addition, cancer rates are declining in men and stabilizing in women. The report indicates that more than 16.9 million Americans with a history of cancer were alive as of January 1, 2019. It projects that this number will surpass 22.1 million by 2030. The majority of cancer survivors are ≥65 years and were given a diagnosis within the past decade, the study said (Figure).

With 3,650,030 survivors as of January 1, 2019, prostate cancer is the most prominent cancer in men. The 5-year relative survival rate increased from 83% in the late 1980s to 99% from 2008 to 2014.

Figure. Cancer Diagnosis and Survivorship Statistics

Figure. Cancer Diagnosis and Survivorship Statistics Similarly, survival rates for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) have increased over the past 3 decades, particularly among pediatric patients. More than 95% of the pediatric population with ALL achieves remission, compared with 78% to 92% of adults. In the early 1980s, a 16 percentage point difference (55% vs 71%) marked the survival disparity between black and white children and adolescents. That narrowed to an 8 percentage point difference (85% vs 93%) between 2008 and 2014.

Investigators said poor integration of survivorship care between the oncology and primary care settings, clinician workforce shortages, and insufficient knowledge about the needs of cancer survivors are some of the challenges that remain in this setting.
Miller KD, Nogueira L, Mariotto AB, et al. Cancer treatment and survivorship statistics, 2019 [published online June 11, 2019]. CA Cancer J Clin. doi: 10.3322/caac.21565.

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