Background: The American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) collaborate annually to provide updated information regarding cancer occurrence and trends in the United States. This year's report includes trends in colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and death rates and highlights the use of microsimulation modeling as a tool for interpreting past trends and projecting future trends to assist in cancer control planning and policy decisions.
Methods: Information regarding invasive cancers was obtained from the NCI, CDC, and NAACCR; and information on deaths was obtained from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. Annual percentage changes in the age-standardized incidence and death rates (based on the year 2000 US population standard) for all cancers combined and for the top 15 cancers were estimated by joinpoint analysis of long-term trends (1975-2006) and for short-term fixed-interval trends (1997-2006). All statistical tests were 2-sided.
Results: Both incidence and death rates from all cancers combined significantly declined (P < .05) in the most recent time period for men and women overall and for most racial and ethnic populations. These decreases were driven largely by declines in both incidence and death rates for the 3 most common cancers in men (ie, lung and prostate cancers and CRC) and for 2 of the 3 leading cancers in women (ie, breast cancer and CRC). The long-term trends for lung cancer mortality in women had smaller and smaller increases until 2003, when there was a change to a nonsignificant decline. Microsimulation modeling demonstrates that declines in CRC death rates are consistent with a relatively large contribution from screening and with a smaller but demonstrable impact of risk factor reductions and improved treatments. These declines are projected to continue if risk factor modification, screening, and treatment remain at current rates, but they could be accelerated further with favorable trends in risk factors and higher utilization of screening and optimal treatment.
Conclusions: Although the decrease in overall cancer incidence and death rates is encouraging, rising incidence and mortality for some cancers are of concern.
Copyright 2009 American Cancer Society.