In early 2012, there were 13.7 million of us in the United States.  By us, I naturally mean cancer survivors.  Within ten years, that number will rise to 18 million or so, according to a report, sponsored by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute and published online in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians (2012).
Why are there so many of us?  Partly, it’s because we’re living longer, and the longer you live, the more chance you’ll get cancer.  (Some reward for a long life, huh?)  It’s also because treatments are improving, so more of us are beating cancer. (There’s your reward.)
But, according to the report, survivors are a worried lot, expressing concern about recurrence, second cancers, and late treatment complications without cancer recurrence.
The researchers used data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program, the National Center for Health Statistics, and the University of California Berkeley’s mortalitycohort life tables. Population projections were based on U.S. Census Bureaudata.
The findings, from the report:
• 6.4 million men and 7.3 million women who had been diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life were alive on Jan. 1, 2012.
• The top cancer for men was prostate, with 43 percent of the total, meaning nearly 2.8 million survivors.  
• Breast cancer was the leading cancer for women, with 41 percent of the total, and nearly 2.9 million survivors.  
• No other cancer contributed to more than 9 percent of the total in either sex. 
• In 2012, 8 percent of the women, or 606,910, had survived uterine cancer, second only to breast cancer. 
•In 2012, lung and bronchial cancer accounted for only about 3 percent of cancer survivors in both sexes, putting it eighth on the list.
•45 percent of all cancer survivors are 70 or older.

SOURCE:  Siegel R, et al “Cancer treatment and survivorship statistics 2012” CACancer J Clin 2012;DOI:10.3322/caac.21149.

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