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Number of cancer survivors set to exceed 22 million by 2030

According to the American Cancer Society’s 2019 Cancer Treatment and Survivorship Statistics, and based on the growth and aging of the population, there will be about 22.1 million cancer survivors come 2030. This is a major uptick from the 16.9 million cancer survivors recorded in January 2019.

These new findings appear in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

It’s important to note that the report uses the term “cancer survivor” to describe a person with a history of cancer, from the time of diagnosis through the remainder of their life. But many people with a history of cancer do not embrace the term “cancer survivor.”

The rise of cancer survivors in the U.S. despite leveled rates of diagnosis is based on population growth and aging and improvements in treatment and ability to detect cancer early on. The estimate of 22.1 million survivors in 2030 was predicted based on projections produced by the United States Census Bureau.

As of 2019, there are currently 8.1 million males and 8.8 million females with a history of cancer in the U.S. The most prevalent cancers among men are prostate, colon, rectum, and melanoma, whereas the affected women mostly prevailed over breast, endometrium, colon, and rectum cancers.

About 68% of cancer survivors were diagnosed five or more years ago and about 18% received their diagnosis more than 20 years ago. And about 64% are over the age of 65.

“People with a history of cancer have unique medical, psychosocial, and economic needs that require proactive assessment and management by health care providers,” said report coauthor Robin Yabroff, Ph.D., senior scientific director of Health Services Research, pertaining to the challenges cancer survivors face. “Although there are growing numbers of tools that can assist patients, caregivers, and clinicians in navigating the various phases of cancer survivorship, further evidence-based resources are needed to optimize care.”

The American Cancer Society released a cancer survivorship blueprint to better understand priority areas for care delivery, research, education, and policy for those who have beat cancer. Furthermore, the American College of Surgeons, the Alliance for Quality Psychosocial Cancer Care, and the American Cancer Society are all working to better the quality of rehabilitation and posttreatment cancer care.

By Olivia Harvey, Staff Writer

Image Credit: Shutterstock/RawPixel

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