Cancers with increasing incidence trends in the United States: 1999 through 2008

CA Cancer J Clin. 2012 Mar-Apr;62(2):118-28. doi: 10.3322/caac.20141. Epub 2012 Jan 4.


Despite declines in incidence rates for the most common cancers, the incidence of several cancers has increased in the past decade, including cancers of the pancreas, liver, thyroid, and kidney and melanoma of the skin, as well as esophageal adenocarcinoma and certain subsites of oropharyngeal cancer associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Population-based incidence data compiled by the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries were used to examine trends in incidence rates from 1999 through 2008 for the 7 cancers listed by sex, age group, race/ethnicity, and stage at diagnosis. Joinpoint regression was used to calculate average annual percent changes in incidence rates (1999-2008). Rates for HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer, esophageal adenocarcinoma, cancer of the pancreas, and melanoma of the skin increased only in whites, except for esophageal adenocarcinoma, which also increased in Hispanic men. Liver cancer rates increased in white, black, and Hispanic men and in black women only. In contrast, incidence rates for thyroid and kidney cancers increased in all racial/ethnic groups, except American Indian/Alaska Native men. Increases in incidence rates by age were steepest for liver and HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers among those aged 55 [corrected] to 64 years and for melanoma of the skin in those aged 65 years and older. Notably, for HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer in men and thyroid cancer in women, incidence rates were higher in those aged 55 to 64 years than in those aged 65 years and older. Rates increased for both local and advanced stage diseases for most cancer sites. The reasons for these increasing trends are not entirely known. Part of the increase (for esophageal adenocarcinoma and cancers of the pancreas, liver, and kidney) may be linked to the increasing prevalence of obesity as well as increases in early detection practices for some cancers. These rising trends will exacerbate the growing cancer burden associated with population expansion and aging. Additional research is needed to determine the underlying reasons for these increasing trends.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Liver Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Melanoma / epidemiology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / virology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • SEER Program
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Survival Rate
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology