By 2022, the number of people surviving with cancer will grow to 18 million. Right now that number stands at 13.7 million, according to the American Cancer Society. The reports find, “that even though cancer incidence rates are decreasing, the number of cancer survivors is growing due to the aging and growth of the population, as well as improving cancer survival rates.” The numbers suggests more aggressive research is needed to better understand the growth of cancer as well as cancer treatments.
The report shows the three most common cancers among males living with a history of cancer in 2012 are prostate cancer (43%), colorectal cancer (9%), and melanoma (7%).
Other selected findings
- Nearly one-half (45%) of cancer survivors are aged 70 years or older, while only 5% are aged younger than 40 years
- The median age of patients at the time of cancer diagnosis is 66.
- There are 58,510 survivors of childhood cancer living in the United States, and an additional 12,060 children will be diagnosed in 2012.
- The majority of cancer survivors (64%) were diagnosed 5 or more years ago; 15% were diagnosed 20 or more years ago.
Researchers say these statistics can give doctors a guide into the prevalence of cancer.
“With this effort, we review the critical issues related to cancer treatment and survivorship,” said Elizabeth R. Ward, Ph.D., national vice president of Intramural Research and senior author of the report. “Many survivors, even among those who are cancer free, must cope with the long-term effects of treatment, as well as psychological concerns such as fear of recurrence. As more people survive cancer, it is vital that health care providers are aware of the special needs of cancer patients and caregivers.”