4 Essential Cancer Charts for 2016

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States; in 2016, it’s expected to claim 1,630 U.S. lives every day, according to Cancer Facts & Figures 2016. The report, which comes out annually from the American Cancer Society, includes estimated numbers of new cancer cases and deaths in 2016 as well as all of the other current key cancer statistics. In addition, this year brings an exciting new interactive data site.

The Cancer Statistics Center features consumer-friendly interactive charts that break down statistics by cancer type, geography, gender and more, plus tools for comparative analysis. The site empowers you to learn more about specific cancers or populations and compare them side by side using filters such as cancer types, sex and race/ethnicity.

Here’s our list of 4 essential charts you can find at the new Cancer Statistics Center:

1. Cancer death rates continue steady decline: The cancer death rate for both men and women in the United States has been trending downward over the past two decades. In men, the cancer death rate has dropped 1.8% per year over the last 10 years of available data. And in women, the death rate has dropped 1.4% per year during the same time period. Declines in death rates for female breast cancer, prostate, colorectal, and lung cancers are driving the overall decline in the cancer death rates in men and women.

graph showing trends in death rates 1930-2012

2. New estimates predict top cancers for 2016: Breast, lung and bronchus, and colorectal cancer are the 3 most common cancers expected to be diagnosed in women in 2016. And in men, new diagnoses of prostate, lung and bronchus, and colorectal cancers are expected to be the most common this year.

graph showing estimated new cases female and male 2016

3. Deaths from lifestyle-related cancers highest in the south: Overall cancer deaths rates are highest in southern states including Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. The differences in cancer incidence and deaths rates between states are largely due to behavioral, environmental, and socioeconomic factors. Cancers that tend to be related to such factors – i.e. lung cancer and smoking – have more striking state variation.

graph showing death rates 2008-2012

4. Thyroid cancer on the upswing: While rates for many types of cancer have declined in recent years, diagnoses of certain cancer types are increasing. The most rapid increases are being recorded for thyroid cancer – incidence rates are rising by more than 5% per year in both men and women. American Cancer Society researchers partly attribute this to over-diagnosis, which is tied to greater use of more advanced techniques for detecting cancer through imaging tests. Incidence for other cancers are also increasing – from 2003 to 2012, rates increased for some leukemia subtypes and for cancers of the tongue, tonsil, small intestine, liver, pancreas, kidney, and renal pelvis among both men and women.

graph showing trends in incidence rates 1975-2012

Bottom Line

The Cancer Statistics Center features other important findings reported in Cancer Facts & Figures 2016, which is on cancer.org, and the Cancer Statistics, 2016 article published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. There is also data on obesity prevalence and tobacco use, two major risk factors for cancer.

The new statistics center does not include comprehensive data from this year’s Special Section on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, some of the fastest-growing populations in the United States. Check out some key findings from the Special Section here.

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