US Population of Cancer Survivors Continues to Rise

Cancer Survivors Population Continues to Rise Chart

There were more than 15.5 million cancer survivors at the start of 2016, with that number projected to reach more than 20 million by 2026, according to new research published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians that emphasizes the importance of healthy living. The number of US cancer survivors continues to increase due in large part to a growing aging population along with advances in early detection and treatment.

The Cancer Treatment and Survivorship Statistics, 2016, produced every two years, defines cancer survivor as any person who has been diagnosed with cancer. The study found that one-third of survivors in the US today were diagnosed less than five years ago. More than one-half (56%) were diagnosed within the past 10 years. Nearly half are ages 70 and older, although age distribution varies by cancer type. The report estimates that there are 65,190 cancer survivors ages 14 and under, and 47,180 ages 15 to 19 in the United States.

survivors and survivorship

The three most common cancers among male survivors in 2016 are prostate, colorectal, and melanoma. Among women, the three most common cancers are breast, uterine corpus (endometrial), and colorectal.

Researchers used a combination of government data and modeling to reach estimates for current and future survivorship. Expected survival was estimated by comparing survival among cancer patients with that of the general population, controlling for age, race, and sex.

The research was reported by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.

There is increasing emphasis on improving cancer survivors' overall well-being and quality of life through the application of principles of disease self-management and the promotion of healthy lifestyles, the authors write, such as avoiding tobacco, maintaining a healthy body weight, avoiding intense ultraviolet radiation exposure, and being physically active throughout life.

Source: Miller, K. D., Siegel, R. L., Lin, C. C., Mariotto, A. B., Kramer, J. L., Rowland, J. H., Stein, K. D., Alteri, R. and Jemal, A. (2016), Cancer treatment and survivorship statistics, 2016. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. doi: 10.3322/caac.21349

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    Published on June 23, 2016

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