Cancer in Adolescents

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What Is Cancer in Adolescents? TOPICS

What are the key statistics for cancers in adolescents?

About 5,000 teens aged 15 to 19 are diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States. Overall, this accounts for less than 1% of all cancers.

About 600 adolescents die from cancer each year. Cancer accounts for about 5% of deaths and is the 4th leading cause of death in this age group, behind only accidents, suicide, and homicide.

The chance of getting cancer is about equal for adolescent boys and girls, but cancer survival rates are slightly higher in girls than in boys. Overall, about 85% of girls are still alive 5 years after being diagnosed with cancer, compared to about 80% of boys. Some of this might be because of different mixes of cancer types in males and females. Survival rates can vary based on the type of cancer and other factors.

Survival rates for cancer in teens have not changed much in recent decades, unlike the improvements seen in many cancers in children and older adults. As with cancers in children, the progress in some cancers in adolescents has been greater than in others.


Last Medical Review: 02/13/2014
Last Revised: 02/13/2014