SUNDAY, June 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) — The number of cancer survivors in the United States will rise from the current 14.5 million to nearly 19 million by 2024, a new report predicts.
Cancer rates have been falling for 10 years, but the number of cancer survivors is rising due to factors such as earlier detection and better treatments, the American Cancer Society said.
“The growing number of cancer survivors in the U.S. makes it increasingly important to understand the unique medical and psychosocial needs of survivors,” report author Carol DeSantis, an American Cancer Society epidemiologist, said in a cancer society news release.
“Despite the fact that awareness of survivorship issues has increased, cancer survivors face numerous, important hurdles created by a fractured health care system, poor integration of survivorship care and financial and other barriers to quality care, particularly among the medically underserved,” she said.
In 2014, the most common cancers among female survivors are breast (41 percent), uterine (8 percent) and colorectal (8 percent). Among male survivors, the most common cancers are prostate (43 percent), colorectal (9 percent) and melanoma (8 percent).
Lung cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in Americans, but is only the eighth most common among cancer survivors due to its low survival rate.
Among cancer survivors, 64 percent were diagnosed five or more years ago and 15 percent were diagnosed 20 or more years ago. Only 5 percent of cancer survivors are younger than 40, while 46 percent are 70 and older. Survivors’ age ranges vary substantially by cancer type. For example, 62 percent of prostate cancer survivors are 70 and older, while only 32 percent of melanoma survivors are in this age group.
The findings were published online June 1 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
The American Cancer Society offers advice for cancer survivors.