Cancer Survivors Fast Facts

Cancer survivor defined:

An individual is considered a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis, through the balance of his or her life. Family members, friends, and caregivers are also impacted by the survivorship experience and are therefore included in this definition.1

As of January 2012, it is estimated that there are 13.7 million cancer survivors in the United States. This represents approximately 4% of the population.2

Sixty-four percent of survivors has survived 5 years or more; 40% has survived 10 years or more; and 15% has survived 20 years or more after diagnosis.3

59% of survivors are currently 65 years of age and older.2

Among today’s survivors, the most common cancer sites represented include female breast (22%), prostate (20%), colorectal (9%) and gynecologic (8%).2

The number of cancer survivors is projected to increase by 31%, to almost 18 million, by 20222, which represents an increase of more than 4 million survivors in 10 years.4

Over the next decade, the number of people who have lived 5 years or more after their cancer diagnosis is projected to increase approximately 37%, to 11.9 million.4

1.Adapted from the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship

2 Siegel, R., DeSantis, C., Virgo, K., et al. (2012), Cancer Treatment and Survivorship Statistics, 2012. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. doi: 10.3322/caac.21149.

3 Howlader N, Noone A, Krapcho M, Neyman N, Aminou R, Waldron W, et al. (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975–2009 (Vintage 2009 Populations), National Cancer Institute; Bethesda, MD,, based on November 2011 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2012.

4 de Moor JS, Mariotto AB, Parry C, Alfano CM, Padgett L, Kent EE, Forsythe L, Scoppa S, Hachey M, and Rowland JH. Cancer Survivors in the United States: Prevalence across the Survivorship Trajectory and Implications for Care. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Apr;22(4):561-70. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-12-1356. Epub 2013 Mar 27.

Source : National Cancer Institute

It is predicted that by January 1, 2022, it is estimated that the population of cancer survivors in the U.S. will rise to almost 18 million: 8.8 million males and 9.2 million females.

The three most common cancers are prostate (43%), colon and rectum (9%), and melanoma (7%) among male survivors.

Among female survivors, the most common cancers are breast (41%), uterine corpus (8%), and colon and rectum (8%).

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