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Key Statistics for Cancers in Adolescents

How common is cancer in adolescents?

  • About 5,000 to 6,000 adolescents (aged 15 to 19) are diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States.
  • About 500 to 600 adolescents die from cancer each year. Cancer is the fourth leading cause of death in this age group, behind only accidents, suicide, and homicide.

Survival rates for adolescents with cancer

The chance of getting cancer is about equal for teen boys and girls, but cancer survival rates are slightly higher in girls than in boys. Some of this is probably because of the different types of cancer that are most common in girls and boys.

Overall, about 87% of adolescents are still alive 5 years after being diagnosed with cancer. But it's important to note that survival rates can vary widely based on the type of cancer and other factors.

The overall survival rate for cancer in teens has not improved as much in the past few decades as it has for cancers in children, although current overall survival rates are similar. As with cancers in children, the progress in some cancers in adolescents has been greater than in others.

Visit the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics Center for more key statistics.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as editors and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2024. Atlanta: American Cancer Society, 2024.

American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2020. Atlanta, GA. Special Section: Cancer in Adolescents and Young Adults. American Cancer Society. 2020.

Bleyer A. How NCCN guidelines can help young adults and older adolescents with cancer and the professionals who care for them. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2012;10:1065-1071.

National Cancer Institute. Cancer Stat Facts: Cancer Among Adolescents and Young Adults (AYAs) (Ages 15–39). 2024. Accessed at on May 21, 2024.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology. Version 2.2024. Accessed at on May 21, 2024.


Last Revised: May 23, 2024

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