April 1st 2008
Current US statistics on cancer reveal that more than 11 million cancer survivors live among us today, and that number is expected to double by 2050.[1,2] One important contributing trend has been a fall in cancer deaths driven by earlier detection and improved treatment. Deaths resulting from cancer declined from 206.7 per 100,000 population in 1980 to 185.7 per 100,000 in 2004. Meanwhile, the adjusted 5-year survival rate for cancers overall increased from 50% to 66% between 1975–1977 and 1996–2003, and these statistics speak only to relatively short-term survival. About 1 in every 7 survivors today received their diagnosis more than 20 years ago.