Some Cancer Stats

Cancer is common. It’s the second-most common cause of death in the US and worldwide. A diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence however. Many people recover and live a long time. Cancer is not one disease; it’s a bunch of diseases, and the survival rates vary widely across cancer types. About 1.7 million cases of cancer are diagnosed in the US every year, and 18 million worldwide. Over 600,000 people die from cancer in the US (over 1 out of 5 deaths) and 9.6 million worldwide (1 out of 6 deaths). Cancer is the leading cause of death for Americans under age 65.  The median age at diagnosis is 66 years. The most common type of cancer is breast cancer or skin cancer, depending on how you classify things – Some epidemiologists separate melanoma from squamous cell skin cancer. Prostate cancer is also common, but breast and prostate cancers have high survival rates. The US government estimates 18 million cancer survivors live in the country today. The cancer that causes the highest number of deaths is lung cancer. By a wide margin. An estimated 142,000 people die from lung cancer in the United States every year. That’s more than die from colorectal cancer (51K ), pancreatic cancer (46K) and breast cancer (42K) combined. Worldwide, lung cancer is also the leading cause of cancer mortality, with liver cancer second. The federal government projects US Deaths in 2021 Lung cancer – 131,880 Colorectal cancer – 52,980 Pancreatic cancer – 48,220 Breast cancer – 44,130 One interesting statistic is the 5-year survival rate which differs considerably among types of cancer. In the US, two thirds of patients are still alive 5 years after diagnosis. For prostrate cancer, the five-year survival rate is over 98 percent (US numbers). For pancreatic cancer, it is only 8.2 percent.

Rates of Chemotherapy for Different Cancer Types – A Selection

The American Cancer Society’s report on Cancer Treatment and Survivorship, 2019 to 2021 gives estimates of the percentage of cancer patients who receive some sort of chemotherapy for selected cancer types. Breast cancer Stage 2 – 17% of patients receive chemotherapy Stage 3 – 62% Stage 4 – 66% Non small cell lung cancer Stage 2 – 18% Stage 3 – 67% Stage 4 – 53% Testicular cancer Stage 1 – 17% Stage 2 – 65% Stage 3 – 86% Urinary bladder cancer Stage 0 – 33% Stage 1 – 50% Stage 2 – 55% Stage 3 – 61% Stage 4 – 60% Uterine cancer Stage 1 – 11% Stage 2 – 31% Stage 3 – 75% Stage 4 – 73%