ACS experts analyzed cancer incidence and mortality in the United States over the past 30 years. The report was published in CA: Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
The analysis found that between 1991 and 2021, cancer deaths in the United States declined, with more than 4 million deaths averted. At the same time, according to experts, the number of new cases of malignant neoplasms will exceed 2 million in 2024, reaching a record level. This equates to 5,480 new cases of cancer being diagnosed every day, or a disease being detected every 15 seconds.
The authors note a steady increase in the incidence of cancer at a young age. During the period from 2015 to 2019, there was an annual increase in the incidence of breast, pancreatic and uterine cancer (by 0.6-1%), cervical cancer in women aged 30-44 years (by 1-2%), as well as prostate cancer, kidney cancer, melanoma and oral cancer associated with the human papillomavirus, as well as liver cancer in women (by 2-3%).
Among patients under 50 years of age, colorectal cancer has become the leading cause of death from malignant neoplasms among men and the second leading cause of death (after breast cancer) among women. Just two decades ago, colorectal cancer was the fourth most common cancer among young patients of both sexes. Experts attribute this increase in incidence to the prevalence of obesity and point to the need for early screening for colorectal cancer.
The proportion of new cancer cases diagnosed in adults 50–64 years of age also increased from 25% in 1995 to 30% by 2020. At the same time, among patients over 65 years of age, there is a decrease in the proportion of new cancer cases: from 61 to 58%. Interestingly, among older patients, the authors observed a dramatic reduction in the incidence of prostate cancer and cancers associated with smoking.
Experts noted a sharp decrease in the incidence of cervical cancer among women 20-29 years old who received the human papillomavirus vaccine. However, among women 30-44 years old, the incidence increased by almost 2%.
Among children, after a previously observed increase in cancer incidence, the picture has stabilized, despite the continued increase in incidence among adolescents aged 15-19 years. Thus, the incidence of thyroid cancer increased by 4% per year. The authors associate this picture with possible overdiagnosis.