Cancer Statistics Update-Demographics Part II

(1/10/20)- A report recently released by the American Cancer Society that was published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians concluded that the death rate in the United States fell 2.2% from 2017 to 2018, the largest decline in a single year ever reported.


Rebecca Siegel, director of surveillance research at the American Cancer Society. Medical experts attributed the decline to the reduced smoking rates and advances in lung cancer and melanoma treatment. Lung cancer kills more people than breast, prostate, colorectal and brain cancers combined. Cancer trails only heart attacks as the leading cause of death in the U.S.


There has been a decline in death rates for colorectal, breast and prostate cancer, according to the report.


(5/31/19)- Findings from the Canadian Population Attributable Risk of Cancer (ComPARe) study show that in 2015, more than one third of cancers were caused by "largely preventable" lifestyle, environmental, and infectious agent risk factors.

(4/3/19)- Last year it is estimated that more than 1, 7 million people in the United States were diagnosed with cancer.


In1917, Americans spent more than $147 billion caring for  people with cancer, and that does not include the costs incurred by loved onns.


This year =. The National Cancer Institute will spend more than$5,7 billion on cancer research.


(1/10/19)- Since deaths from cancer peaked in 1991, the death rate has steadily dropped 1.5% a year through 2016, mainly because of the efforts to reduce smoking and early detection, according to a study from the American Cancer Society that was published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.


The study’s authors predicted there would be 1.76 million new cancer cases this year and close to 607,000 cancer deaths in the U.S.


Men die in greatest number from lung, prostate and colorectal cancer, while women die primarily from lung, breast and colorectal cancer, according to the report.


(4/23/18)- The American Cancer Society lists the 5 –year survival statistics for various cancers: cervical, 69%; leukemia, 63%; ovarian, 46%; brain and nervous system,35%; lung, 19%; liver, 18% and pancreatic, 9%.


(4/17/18)- Merck & Co.’s auto-immunological best-selling drug Keytruda, had global sales of $3.8 billion in 2017. The drug has a price tag of $13,500 a month and is already marketed to treat some forms of lung, melanoma, bladders and other cancers. This drug therefore accounts for about 9% of the company’s total revenue.


There are presently more than 700 clinical trials for Keytruda in more than 30 types of cancer, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH)) These clinical trials account for more than half of all budgeted clinical trials the company is conducting, according to Roger Perlmutter, the head of the company’s R&D division.


Dr. Perlmutter stated, “Whatever projects you are working on, you can stop now, because we’re going to be doing this, and we’re going to put a lot of muscle behind this”.


The company has more than 40 other drugs in clinical testing.


American Cancer Society estimated that in 2018 there will be about 244,000 new cases of lung cancer in the U.S. and over 154,000 deaths were due to the disease. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, approximately 6.5% of men and women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer of the lung at some point in their lifetime based on data from 2011-13.

(1/12/18)- The cancer death rate dropped about 1.5 percent a year from 1991 to 2015, for a total decrease of 26 percent for this period of time.


Extrapolating this statistic, it resulted in 2,378,600 fewer deaths over this period of time.


(10/6/17)- A press release from the CDC reported "About 630,000 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with a cancer associated with overweight and obesity in 2014. About 2 in 3 occurred in adults 50- to 74-years-old. The rate of obesity-related cancers, not including colorectal cancer, increased by 7 percent between 2005 and 2014. The rates of non-obesity related cancers declined during that time."


(9/29/17)- Cancer mortality rates among adults in the US dropped by 25% between 1991 and 2014, but longer lifespans are poised to increase the number of new cancer diagnoses from almost 1.7 million in 2017 to 2.3 million in 2030, the American Association for Cancer Research ( ) said in its 2017 Cancer Progress Report.

(6/6/17)- The death rates from all cancers combined has dropped by over 25% in the last two and a half decades according to statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Cancer Society, b ut that is not true for all types of cancers.


A large part of the decline is due to the drop-off in smoking. Increased longevity is a result of new cancer drugs that utilize the body’s own auto-immunological system to fight the cancer.


(1/6/17)- The death rate from all cancers combined in the United States has dropped by 25% over the past 2.5 decades, although cancer incidence and mortality rates are typically higher in men and racial disparities still exist, a Cancer Statistics 2017 report indicates.


The incidence of metastatic prostate cancer in older men is rising after reaching an all-time low in 2011, according to new research from Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian investigators. The findings suggest a correlation between the increase and a change in prostate cancer screening guidelines recommending against routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing.

(6/29/16)- New York State has enacted legislation that expands access to breast-cancer screening by requiring hospitals to extend hours for mammograms and eliminating insurance costs.


The legislation required over 200 hospitals around the state to offer evening and weekend hours for mammograms, that insurance companies will be prohibited from charging for deductibles or copayments for the procedure.


(12/28/15)- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed data from the U.S. Cancer Statistics (USCS) for 2012, the most recent data available. In 2012, a total of 1,529,078 invasive cancers were reported to cancer registries in the United States (excluding Nevada), for an annual incidence rate of 440 cases per 100,000 persons.


Cancer incidence rates were higher among males (483) than females (412), highest among blacks (446), and ranged by state, from 371 to 515 per 100,000 persons (355 in Puerto Rico). The proportion of persons with cancer who survived ≥5 years after diagnosis was 66%.

(12/24/15)- The 10 leading causes of death in 2014 remained the same as in 2013, with heart disease and cancer at the top of the list.

From 2013 to 2014, age-adjusted death rates significantly decreased for five of the 10 leading causes of death and significantly increased for four of them. Rates decreased for heart disease by 1.6%; cancer, 1.2%; chronic lower respiratory diseases, 3.8%; diabetes, 1.4%; and influenza and pneumonia were each down by 5%.

(12/12/15)- Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with over 5 million cases treated per year at a cost of $8.1 billion. Most cases are preventable by reducing exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV)

Pancreas cancer remains one of the deadliest cancers worldwide. In the United States, it accounts for only three percent of all diagnosed cancers but it causes almost seven percent of all cancer deaths. A pancreas cancer diagnosis often comes after age 50 and after the cancer has spread, making it difficult to remove surgically

(10/31/15)- Cancer incidence and death rates increase with age. In 2011, among persons in the youngest age group (<15 years), 10,063 new cancer cases (rate: 17 cases per 100,000 persons) and 1,283 cancer deaths (rate: two deaths per 100,000 persons) were reported.

Among persons aged ≥65 years, 822,548 new cancer cases (rate: 2,005 cases per 100,000 persons) and 397,106 cancer deaths (rate: 960 deaths per 100,000 persons) were reported. Overall, 54% of cancer cases and 69% of cancer deaths in 2011 occurred among persons aged ≥65 years.

(1/1/15)- The National Cancer Institute estimates that 224,210 Americans will be diagnosed and 159,260 will die from lung cancer in 2014.

(1/18/14)- Since 1950, melanoma incidence has increased more than 20-fold in older men, and the rate of associated mortality in men has tripled, according to a study of Connecticut Tumor Registry data in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

In the last several years, 3 close friends have passed away from melanomas. We do not have the statistics, but the number of people who have passed away from brain tumors seems to have increased also. We would appreciate if any of our viewers know where such statistics can be found, to please e-mail us with that information.

The numbers of media ads containing claims of “improving your chances of survival “seems to have increased drastically in the last few years. Are the federal agencies checking into the accuracy of these claims?

(1/14/14)- Cancer death rates declined by 20% between 1991 and 2010, according to a new compendium of statistics from the American Cancer Society. The 2010 rate stood at 172 per 100,000 population, down from a peak of 215 per 100,000 in 1991 — translating to about 1.3 million cancer deaths averted in the past two decades.

(1/11/13)- From 2000 to 2009, overall deaths rates from cancer fell, in both men and women, for all major racial and ethnic groups and for all of the most common cancer sites, including lung, colon and rectum, female breast, and prostate.

The downward trend started in the early 1990. From 2000 to 2009, overall cancer death rates decreased by 1.8% per year in men and by 1.4% per year in women. However, deaths rates increased for certain other cancers, including liver, pancreas, and uterus. In men only, they also increased for melanoma.

(10/5/10)- The number of new cancer diagnoses in the U.S. fell by about 1% annually between 1999 and 2006, while deaths from all cancer types also declined by 1.6% annually from 2001 to 2006, according to an report by the CDC and several cancer groups.

Experts said the results could be attributed to advances in medical screening technology and treatment and a deeper understanding of cancer and its sources.

(8/27/99)-The following statistics are from a joint report of the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. They indicate that the overall death rates from cancer declined on the average about 0.5% a year from 1990 to 1995 compared with a increase in the rate of 0.4% in the years between 1973 and 1990.

Elderly and Cancer: A comment: People over 75 account for over one-third of the diagnosed cases of cancer, yet this group is less extensively investigated and receive less treatment than younger patients do. It is known that 75-year old women and 75 year old men have life expectancies of 11.2 years and 8.5 years respectively. How are we to explain the reduced level of intervention when appropriate adjustments are made for co-morbidity (existence of another disease) or frailty? Some elderly people can tolerate chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy just as well as younger patients. Cannot regimens and protocols be modified for less fit patients?

For lung cancer, the latest figures indicate a decrease of 1.1% a year from 1990 to 1995 while, during the years 1973 to 1990, incidence of cancer increased 18% a year between 1973 and 1990.

The rate of breast cancer has now leveled out after rapidly increasing during the years 1973 to 1990. Deaths from breast cancer have dropped over the last five years, but only for white and Hispanic women. Increased screening may account for the stopping of the rapid increase of beast cancer during 1973 to 1990.

The incidence of prostate cancer declined from 1990 to 1995 for white and black men and the death rate has decreased for all except Hispanic men. (See our articles on prostate cancer)

The incidence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and melanoma appear to be on the rise.
Source: Cancer 1998:82:1197-1207.

See our article on Demographics-Part I-Some Tidbits


Harold Rubin, MS, ABD, CRC, Guest Lecturer
updated January 10, 2020

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