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Medicine LibreTexts

11.3: Cancer Statistics

  • Page ID
    11188
  • Cancer severely impacts Americans and societies throughout the world. Cancer statistics describe what happens in large groups of people and provide a picture in time of the burden of cancer on society. Statistics indicate how many people are diagnosed with and die from cancer each year, the number of people who are currently living after a cancer diagnosis, and the average age at diagnosis. They also reveal differences among groups defined by age, sex, racial/ethnic group, geographic location, and other categories.

    Although statistical trends are usually not directly applicable to individual patients, they are essential for governments, policymakers, health professionals, and researchers to understand the impact of cancer on the population and to develop strategies to address the challenges that cancer poses to society. Statistical trends are also important for measuring the success of efforts to control and manage cancer.

    Statistics at a Glance: The Burden of Cancer in the United States

    • In 2016, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States, and 595,690 people will die from the disease.
    • The most common cancers in 2016 are projected to be breast cancer, lung and bronchus cancer, prostate cancer, colon and rectum cancer, bladder cancer, melanoma of the skin, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, thyroid cancer, kidney and renal pelvis cancer, leukemia, endometrial cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
    • The number of new cases of cancer (cancer incidence) is 454.8 per 100,000 men and women per year (based on 2008–2012 cases).
    • The number of cancer deaths (cancer mortality) is 171.2 per 100,000 men and women per year (based on 2008–2012 deaths).
    • Cancer mortality is higher among men than women (207.9 per 100,000 men and 145.4 per 100,000 women). It is highest in African American men (261.5 per 100,000) and lowest in Asian/Pacific Islander women (91.2 per 100,000) per year (based on 2008–2012 deaths).
    • The number of people living beyond a cancer diagnosis reached nearly 14.5 million in 2014 and is expected to rise to almost 19 million by 2024.

    • Approximately 39.6 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetimes (based on 2010-2012 data).

    • In 2014, an estimated 15,780 children and adolescents, aged from 0 to 19, were diagnosed with cancer and 1,960 died of the disease.

    • National expenditures for cancer care in the United States totaled nearly $125 billion in 2010 and could reach $156 billion in 2020.

      The following video explores cancer incidence and mortality through 2020:

      Incidence and Mortality 2020