Background: The American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), collaborate to provide an annual update on cancer occurrence and trends in the United States. This year's report contains a special feature that focuses on cancers with recent increasing trends.
Methods: From 1992 through 1998, age-adjusted rates and annual percent changes are calculated for cancer incidence and underlying cause of death with the use of NCI incidence and NCHS mortality data. Joinpoint analysis, a model of joined line segments, is used to examine long-term trends for the four most common cancers and for those cancers with recent increasing trends in incidence or mortality. Statistically significant findings are based on a P value of.05 by use of a two-sided test. State-specific incidence and death rates for 1994 through 1998 are reported for major cancers.
Results: From 1992 through 1998, total cancer death rates declined in males and females, while cancer incidence rates declined only in males. Incidence rates in females increased slightly, largely because of breast cancer increases that occurred in some older age groups, possibly as a result of increased early detection. Female lung cancer mortality, a major cause of death in women, continued to increase but more slowly than in earlier years. In addition, the incidence or mortality rate increased in 10 other sites, accounting for about 13% of total cancer incidence and mortality in the United States.
Conclusions: Overall cancer incidence and death rates continued to decline in the United States. Future progress will require sustained improvements in cancer prevention, screening, and treatment.