Report: Number of Cancer Survivors Continues to Grow
Article date: June 1, 2014
By Stacy Simon
A new report by the American Cancer Society – in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute – estimates there are almost 14.5 million cancer survivors alive in the US today, and that number will grow to almost 19 million by 2024. This includes everyone who’s ever had cancer, from the time of diagnosis for the rest of their life. The report, “Cancer Treatment & Survivorship Facts & Figures,” and an accompanying journal article in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians were released June 1, 2014.
The report says even though the rates of new cancer cases are decreasing, the number of cancer survivors is growing. This is due partly to improved treatments that help people with cancer live longer, and improvements in early detection that allow doctors to find cancer earlier when it is easier to treat. The report was created to help draw attention to the growing number of cancer survivors in the US who have specific medical, psychological, and social needs. It also aims to raise awareness of resources that can assist patients, caregivers, and health care providers in navigating treatment and recovery from cancer.
According to the report, the 3 most common cancers among male survivors are prostate cancer (43%), colon and rectal cancer (9%), and melanoma skin cancer (8%). The 3 most common cancers among female survivors are breast cancer (41%), uterine cancer (8%), and colon and rectal cancer (8%).
The report also finds that 46% of cancer survivors, almost half, are 70 years old or older, and only 5% are younger than 40. The median age of patients at the time of cancer diagnosis is 66.
The report includes information on treatment, survival, and common concerns of survivors for 11 selected groups of cancers. For example, the section on cancers in children and adolescents estimates there are 60,620 child cancer survivors ages 0-14 years and 48,690 adolescent survivors ages 15-19 living in the US. In 2014, 10,450 cases among children and 5,330 cases among adolescents are expected to be diagnosed. A detailed report on childhood and adolescent cancers was published earlier this year as a special section in the Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures 2014.
In addition, Cancer Treatment & Survivorship Facts & Figures includes sections on how to choose a doctor and treatment after a cancer diagnosis; how to transition from active treatment to recovery; and how to safeguard health as a cancer survivor.
Citation: Cancer Treatment and Survivorship Statistics, 2014. Published June 1, 2014 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. First author: Carol E. DeSantis, MPH, American Cancer Society, Atlanta Ga.
Reviewed by: Members of the ACS Medical Content Staff
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