Fast Facts About Cancer
- It is estimated that about 1.48 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2009.
- Approximately 562,000 Americans are expected to die of cancer – more than 1,500 people a day, according to a 2007 report.
- Cancer is the second leading cause of death among all Americans, exceeded only by heart disease.
- In the U.S., one out of every four deaths is attributed to cancer.
- Over the course of a lifetime, one in three women and one in two men will develop cancer.
- About 77 percent of all cancers are diagnosed in patients aged 55 or older.
- The leading cancer for men of all races is prostate cancer, following by lung cancer and colorectal cancer.
- Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among women, regardless of race.
- Among white women, lung cancer is the second most common cancer followed by colorectal cancer.
- For black and Asian/Pacific Islander women, colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer and lung cancer is third.
- More than one million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer will be diagnosed this year.
- Among children aged 14 and younger, the most common cancers are leukemias.
- Overall, cancer rates are higher for whites and blacks than for Asians/Pacific Islanders.
- Approximately 5 percent of cancers are hereditary.
- The five-year relative survival rate for all cancers is 86 percent. That means that 14 percent of all patients diagnosed with cancer survive less than five years.
- Relative survival rates have risen to 66 percent in 2002, up from 51 percent in 1977.
- In 2008, the overall cost of cancer was an estimated $228.1 billion, including $93.2 billion in direct medical costs.
- Fewer than 5 percent of adults diagnosed with cancer will participate in a clinical trial.
- Lung, breast, prostate and colon cancers have the highest number of clinical trials devoted to them – more than 40 percent of all clinical trials.
- About 11.1 million Americans are cancer survivors.
Sources: American Cancer Society, Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health