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American Cancer Society // Infographics // 2017

Life After Cancer: Survivorship by the Numbers

The number of cancer survivors in the United States is increasing, and is expected to grow to about 20.3 million by 2026 according to Cancer Treatment & Survivorship Facts & Figures 2016-2017. Even though cancer incidence rates are declining in men and stable in women, the number of cancer survivors is rising due to a growing and aging population, as well as earlier detection and better treatments. As this population continues to increase, it will be more important than ever to address this group’s unique needs.

There are more than 15.5 million cancer suvivors in the US. By 2026, it is estimated that the population of cancer survivors will increase to about 20.3 million.

Who Are Cancer Survivors?

SURVIVORS BY SEX AND CANCER SITE
Females
  Males
 
Breast
3,560,570
Prostate
3,306,760
Uterine corpus
757,190
Colon & rectum
724,690
Colon & rectum
727,350
Melanoma
614,460
Thyroid
630,660
Urinary bladder
574,250
Melanoma
612,790
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
361,480
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
324,890
Kidney & renal pelvis
305,340
Lung & bronchus
288,210
Testis
266,550
Uterine cervix
282,780
Lung & bronchus
238,300
Ovary
235,200
Leukemia
230,920
Kidney & renal pelvis
204,040
Oral cavity & pharynx
229,880
Total survivors
8,156,120
Total survivors
7,377,100
SURVIVORS BY AGE AT PREVALENCE*
  Females
Males
0-19 1%
1%
20 - 49
12%
8%
50 - 59
17%
13%
60 - 69
26%
27%
70 - 79
23%
29%
80+
21%
21%
*Percentages do not sum to 100% due to rounding. Source: American Cancer Society. Cancer Treatment & Survivorship Facts & Figures 2016-2017. Atlanta. American Cancer Society; 2016.
SURVIVORS BY YEARS SINCE DIAGNOSIS
  Females
Males
0 to <5 years 30%
37%
5 to <10 years 21%
24%
10 to <15 years 16%
16%
15 to <20 years 11%
10%
20+
21%
13%

Stage at Diagnosis and Survival** (2005 - 2011)

The earlier a diagnosis, the better the chances of survival.

Breast (Female)

  • The survival rate for women diagnosed with localized breast cancer is 99%. 61% of patients are diagnosed at this stage. 
  • The survival rate for women diagnosed with regional breast cancer is 85%. 31% of patients are diagnosed at this stage. 
  • The survival rate for women diagnosed with distant breast cancer is 26%. 6% of patients are diagnosed at this stage. 

Colon & Rectum 

  • The survival rate for patients diagnosed with localized colorectal cancer is 90%. 39% of patients are diagnosed at this stage. 
  • The survival rate for patients diagnosed with regional colorectal cancer is 71%. 35% of patients are diagnosed at this stage. 
  • The survival rate for patients diagnosed with distant colorectal cancer is 14%. 21% of patients are diagnosed at this stage.  

Lung & Bronchus

  • The survival rate for patients diagnosed with localized lung cancer is 55%. 16% of patients are diagnosed at this stage. 
  • The survival rate for patients diagnosed with regional lung cancer is 28%. 22% of patients are diagnosed at this stage.
  • The survival rate for patients diagnosed with distant lung cancer is 4%. 57% of patients are diagnosed at this stage. 

Melanoma

  • The survival rate for patients diagnosed with localized melanoma is 98%. 84% of patients are diagnosed at this stage. 
  • The survival rate for patients diagnosed with regional melanoma is 62%. 9% of patients are diagnosed at this stage. 
  • The survival rate for patients diagnosed with distant melanoma is 18%. 4% of patients are diagnosed at this stage. 

Prostate

  • The survival rate for men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer is >99%. 80% of patients are diagnosed at this stage. 
  • The survival rate for men diagnosed with regional prostate cancer is >99%. 12% of patients are diagnosed at this stage.  
  • The survival rate for men diagnosed with distant prostate cancer is 29%. 4% of patients are diagnosed at this stage.  

**5-year relative survival rate by stage

Localized: confined to the organ of origin

Regional: spread to nearby tissues or lymph nodes

Distant: spread to other parts of the body  

Source: Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program http://www.seer.cancer.gov SEER*Stat Database: Mortality - All COD, Aggregated With State, Total U.S. (1969-2014), National Cancer Institute, DCCPS, Surveillance Research Program, Surveillance Systems Branch, released December 2016. Underlying mortality data provided by NCHS http://www.cdc.gov/nchs.

Factors That Influence Cancer Survival

EARLY DETECTION: Screening allows doctors to find some cancers earlier, when they are easier to treat. In some cases, screening can prevent cancer altogether.

IMPROVED TREATMENTS: More effective treatment options and improved clinical follow-up after treatment help people with cancer live longer.

ACCESS TO CARE: Having access to high-quality cancer care can significantly improve survival.  

A United Force Against Cancer

The American Cancer Society is an organization of 2 million strong. Our mission is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. 

Read Survivor Stories // cancer.org/storiesofhope 

Explore Research // cancer.org/research 

Donate // cancer.org/donate 

©2016 American Cancer Society, Inc. All rights reserved. 012894 Rev. 4/17

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