Each year, the American Cancer Society estimates the number of new cancer cases and deaths expected in the United States in the current year and compiles the most recent data on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival based on incidence data from the National Cancer Institute and mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Incidence and death rates are age-standardized to the 2000 US standard million population. A total of 1,372,910 new cancer cases and 570,280 deaths are expected in the United States in 2005. When deaths are aggregated by age, cancer has surpassed heart disease as the leading cause of death for persons younger than 85 since 1999. When adjusted to delayed reporting, cancer incidence rates stabilized in men from 1995 through 2001 but continued to increase by 0.3% per year from 1987 through 2001 in women. The death rate from all cancers combined has decreased by 1.5% per year since 1993 among men and by 0.8% per year since 1992 among women. The mortality rate has also continued to decrease from the three most common cancer sites in men (lung and bronchus, colon and rectum, and prostate) and from breast and colorectal cancers in women. Lung cancer mortality among women has leveled off after increasing for many decades. In analyses by race and ethnicity, African American men and women have 40% and 20% higher death rates from all cancers combined than White men and women, respectively. Cancer incidence and death rates are lower in other racial and ethnic groups than in Whites and African Americans for all sites combined and for the four major cancer sites. However, these groups generally have higher rates for stomach, liver, and cervical cancers than Whites. Furthermore, minority populations are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stage disease than are Whites. Progress in reducing the burden of suffering and death from cancer can be accelerated by applying existing cancer control knowledge across all segments of the population.