How Many People Alive Today Have Ever Had Cancer?

Nearly 14.5 million Americans with a history of cancer were alive on January 1, 2014. Some of these individuals were diagnosed recently and are actively undergoing treatment, while others were diagnosed many years ago with no current evidence of cancer.

How Many New Cases Are Expected to Occur This Year?

About 1,658,370 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2015. This estimate does not include carcinoma in situ (noninvasive cancer) of any site except urinary bladder, nor does it include basal cell or squamous cell skin cancers, which are not required to be reported to cancer registries.

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The most common cancers in 2015 are projected to be breast cancer, lung and bronchus cancer, prostate cancer, colon and rectum cancer, bladder cancer, melanoma of the skin, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, thyroid cancer, kidney and renal pelvis cancer, en-dometrial cancer, leukemia, and pancreatic cancer
The number of cancer deaths (cancer mortality) is 171.2 per 100,000 men and women per year (based on 2008-2012 deaths).

Approximately 39.6 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes (based on 2010-2012 data).

In 2014, an estimated 15,780 children and adolescents ages 0 to 19 were diagnosed with cancer and 1,960 died of the disease.

Cancer Cases by Type

In 2015, according to the American Cancer Society.




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Cancer Deaths are on the Decline

In the United States, the overall cancer death rate has declined since the early 1990s. The most recent Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, published in March 2015, shows that from 2002 to 2011, cancer death rates decreased by:

  • 1.8 percent per year among men
  • 1.4 percent per year among women
  • 2.1 percent per year among children ages 0-14
  • 2.3 percent per year among children ages 0-19