The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer finds that cancer death rates continued to decline from 2001 to 2017 in the United States for all cancer sites combined.
The report is published in the journal Cancer.
These decreases were seen in all major racial and ethnic groups and among men, women, adolescents, young adults, and children. Rates of new cancers (cancer incidence) for all cancers combined leveled off among men and increased slightly for women during 2012 to 2016.
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In a companion paper to the report, researchers looked at progress toward Healthy People 2020external icon objectives for four common cancers: lung, prostate, female breast, and colorectal.
The annual report is a collaborative effort among the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the National Cancer Institute (NCI, part of the National Institutes of Health); the American Cancer Society (ACS); and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR).
This year’s report showed that overall cancer death rates decreased 1.5% on average per year from 2001 to 2017, decreasing more rapidly among men (by 1.8% per year) than among women (1.4% per year). The report found that overall cancer death rates decreased in every racial and ethnic group during 2013–2017.
“The United States continues to make significant progress in cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. “While we are encouraged that overall cancer death rates have decreased, there is still much more we can do to prevent new cancers and support communities, families, and cancer survivors in this ongoing battle.”
National Status of Cancer Report Findings
The data analyzed in the report combines cancer incidence data collected by CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) and NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, as well as mortality data from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
The report found that from 2013 to 2017:
Among men, death rates decreased for 11 of the 19 most common cancers, were stable for four cancers (including prostate), and increased for four cancers (oral cavity and pharynx, soft tissue including heart, brain and other nervous system, and pancreas).
Among women, death rates decreased for 14 of the 20 most common cancers, including the three most common cancers (lung and bronchus, breast, and colorectal), but increased for cancers of the uterus, liver, brain and other nervous system, soft tissue including heart, and pancreas. Rates were stable for oral cavity and pharynx cancer.