The number of cancer survivors continues to increase due to the aging and growth of the population and improvements in early detection and treatment. In order for the public health community to better serve these survivors, the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute collaborated to estimate the number of current and future cancer survivors using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program registries. In addition, current treatment patterns for the most common cancer types are described based on information in the National Cancer Data Base and the SEER and SEER-Medicare linked databases; treatment-related side effects are also briefly described. Nearly 14.5 million Americans with a history of cancer were alive on January 1, 2014; by January 1, 2024, that number will increase to nearly 19 million. The 3 most common prevalent cancers among males are prostate cancer (43%), colorectal cancer (9%), and melanoma (8%), and those among females are cancers of the breast (41%), uterine corpus (8%), and colon and rectum (8%). The age distribution of survivors varies substantially by cancer type. For example, the majority of prostate cancer survivors (62%) are aged 70 years or older, whereas less than one-third (32%) of melanoma survivors are in this older age group. It is important for clinicians to understand the unique medical and psychosocial needs of cancer survivors and to proactively assess and manage these issues. There are a growing number of resources that can assist patients, caregivers, and health care providers in navigating the various phases of cancer survivorship.
Keywords: cancer; prevalence; statistics; survivorship; treatment patterns.
© 2014 American Cancer Society.