Number of cancer survivors expected to grow as treatments improve

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 25, 2012

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Although cancer incidence rates in the United States are declining, the number of cancer survivors is expected to increase from an estimated 13.7 million today to nearly 18 million by 2022, said a June 14 report issued by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.

That increase is due largely to the aging population and improvements in cancer treatment. As a result, it is becoming increasingly important that the medical community understands the unique health needs of cancer survivors, the report said. That includes dealing with chronic pain, cognitive problems, heart damage, infertility and fear of cancer recurrence.

Forty-five percent of cancer survivors are 70 or older, while only 5% are younger than 40, said the report (link).

The most common cancers among male survivors in 2012 are prostate (43%), colorectal (9%) and melanoma (7%), the report said. Among female survivors, the most common cancers are breast (41%), uterine (8%) and colorectal (8%).

For the report, researchers analyzed information from the NCI-funded Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results program, which collects data on cancer cases in the U.S.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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