Let’s continue with the theme of Cancer Stats. This topic is full of information and can go on forever, but I just want to point out a few major stats that are important to note.
The US has very comprehensive and transparent cancer registries and national reporting systems, so generally the numbers in the US in terms of cancer stats can be trusted. US is a country of Caucasians (white or hispanic) and blacks (African-American) so it is not representative of all areas of the world especially Asia. However, these stats do reflect modern cancer rates in today’s world and are to be taken very seriously.
The top ten cancers in the United states for both women and men is included in this table:
Please see how these numbers differ from the world stats from the ast blog entry. But, let’s see some important issues here: the biggest estimated killer this year in men still Lung cancer as expected. However, do note that the most common cancer for new cases in men is not lung it is prostate. This tells you two thing; one, lung cancer kills much worse than does prostate cancer and that we can treat prostate cancer a lot better than we can treat lung cancer. This is indeed true. But hidden behind this is that there is an active program in the US and other parts of the world to screen for prostate cancer and this does help to detect it earlier and thus making it easier to treat. Many (but not all) lung cancer are due to smoking and other environmental damages. Thus, in the future if anti smoking campaigns start working or if tobacco based products are designed to be safer, then we can get these number (lung cancer deaths) to go much lower.
In women, the same trend can also be seen. The top new cancer in women in 2010 is breast cancer at almost 30% of total cancers. However, the biggest killer of women is lung/bronchial cancers. Thus, detection is playing a huge part in detecting breast cancer earlier as to favor a better treatment. IT also underscores that smoking is not a male problem, it is both a male and female problem. Lung cancer is something that we can slow down but it is a lifestyle issue and a marketing issue that we might be better able to control in the near future. Breast cancer is still a large killer of women and even though much progress has been made, better treatment are needed especially for the resistant forms of breast cancer than some women get.
The total number of estimated new cancers in the US in 2010 is about 1.52 million. About .57 million deaths are estimated to occur due to cancer this year. This is roughly 37% death rate if we simply look at 2010 figures…this is not a fair comparison as the deaths are associated with many people who had cancers detected prior to 2010, but this gives us a good overall figure to estimate how we are doing in the year 2010 compared to the year 2009 (sorry I don’t have that ratio now, but I will find it and get it soon). If this number goes down from year to year, than we can say that we are loosing fewer and fewer people from cancer in general. Yes, in general especially amongst men the death rate associated with cancer has gone down nearly 20 % since 1990. In women, that rate is about 12%. Thus, we are not doing as well with women’s cancers overall as we are with men’s. Overall, 1 in 4 deaths in the US are due to cancer. This is very similar to much of the developed world. As we are living longer and better at detecting cancer and better at treating non cancer, these numbers are likely to go up. The question is, will we be able to treat those with cancer better and better to allow these people to live longer and better lives. I think we will…I am optimistic!
Thank you Dr C please see Cancer Made Simple for more info.