American Cancer Society Study Projects 2024 Cancer Incidence and Mortality


Authors of a study from the American Cancer Society estimate over 2 million new cancer cases in 2024.

Patients who have hematologic malignancies have seen an increase in 5-year survival because of the evolution of targeted therapies and immunotherapies, according to the study authors.

Patients who have hematologic malignancies have seen an increase in 5-year survival because of the evolution of targeted therapies and immunotherapies, according to the study authors.

Incidence rates for 6 of the top 10 cancers have increased, with a wider range of disparities and a wider need for cancer prevention, according to findings from a recent report from the American Cancer Society.

From 2015 to 2019, an increase in incidence rates from 0.6% to 1% was observed for breast, pancreatic, and uterine cancers; 1% to 2% for cervical cancer (ages 30 to 44 years old) and colorectal cancer (older than 55 years); and 2% to 3% for prostate, liver (female), kidney, and human papillomavirus-associated oral cancer, and melanoma.

Data were collected from the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program, which is the only source of population-based incidence data available from 1975 to 2020. Mortality data were collected from the National Center for Health Statistics between 1930 and 2021. The NCI’s DevCan software version 6.9.0 was used to determine a patient’s probability of developing cancer.

Looking at 2024, investigators estimated that there will be 2,001,140 new cancer cases, with an estimated 611,720 deaths. The most common diagnosis would be genital system cancers with 427,800 new cases and 70,100 deaths followed by digestive system cancers with 353,820 new cases and 174,320 deaths, and breast cancers with 313,510 new cases and 42,780 deaths.

The states with patients most likely to develop cancer included California with 193,880 estimated cases, Florida with 160,680, Texas with 147,910, and New York with 122,990. The estimated number of deaths for each state included 59,930 in California, 48,110 in Florida, 44,360 in Texas, and 30,990 in New York.

It was determined that men were more likely to be diagnosed with invasive cancer over a lifetime compared with women (41.6% vs 39.6%). Reasons for this difference may have included height, endogenous hormone exposure, and immune function and response.

Patients who were 65 or older had a decrease in cancer risk from 61% in 1995 to 58% in 2019 to 2020. Of note, patients 50 to 64 years old had an increase in cancer from 25% to 30%, and the general population had an increase from 13% to 19%.

For men, the most common estimated cancer diagnoses included prostate (299,010 cases), lung and bronchus (116,310), colon and rectum (81,540), and urinary bladder (63,070). The estimated number of deaths for men included 65,790 for lung and bronchus cancer, 35,250 for prostate cancer, 28,700 for colon and rectum cancer, and 27,270 for pancreatic cancer.

For women, the estimated new cases of cancer included 310,720 for breast, 118,270 for lung and bronchus, 71,270 for colon and rectum, and 67,880 for uterine corpus. The estimated number of deaths included 59,280 for lung and bronchus, 42,250 for breast, 24,480 for pancreatic, and 24,310 for colon and rectum.

Cancer incidence rates in 2020 were about 9% lower than in 2019 due to the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Investigators hypothesized that this drop occurred because of the disruption to the healthcare system. This disruption created larger delays in screening and detection of cancers that are not as fatal and/or symptomatic because of not having regular provider visits.

From the mid-1970s to 2013 to 2019, the 5-year survival rate for all cancers had increased from 49% to 69%. Survival rates were highest among those with thyroid (99%), prostate (97%), and testis cancer (95%) as well as melanoma (94%). The lowest survival rates were for those with pancreas (13%), liver and esophagus (22%), and lung cancer (25%).

Patients who have hematologic malignancies have seen an increase in 5-year survival because of the evolution of targeted therapies and immunotherapies. Immunotherapy for cancers such as melanoma and lung cancer has helped to improve the 5-year survival rates.

However, patients with uterine corpus cancer saw a decrease in survival. This cancer had the fastest increasing mortality rates and a large disparity between White and Black patients. For patients who are Black, the 5-year survival rate was 63% vs 84% for those who are White.

Additional studies found that although patients who are Black had more provider visits, they were one-half as likely to receive guideline-concordant diagnostic procedures compared with patients who were White. Currently, there is a need for more etiologic research and a closure in the gap of racial disparities, according to the authors.

From 1991 to 2021, there was a decrease in death by 33%, which is approximately 4.1 million fewer deaths. There were 2,794,900 cancer-related deaths that were averted for men and 1,344,600 for women.

Cancer mortality trends are often caused by lung cancer but have declined in recent years. However, lung cancer still causes more deaths each year than colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer combined.

In 2021, 17% of all deaths in the United States were from cancer. Cancer is currently the leading cause of death for women 40 to 79 years old and men 60 to 79 years old.

Cancer rates were found to be highest among patients who were American Indian/Alaska Native. These rates were 2-fold higher than those who are Asian American Pacific Islander and Hispanic. The disparity between patients who are Black and White had declined from a peak of 33% in 1993 to 13% in 2016 to 2020.

The authors of the study reported certain limitations such as new methodologies being adopted. Most models created will only account for trends through the most recent year and will not be able to detect any trends such as a difference in detection practice. Of note, errors in reporting on ethnicity or race on death certificates did impact estimations of cancer incidence and mortality outcomes for those who are not White.


Siegel RL, Giaquinto AN, Jemal A. Cancer statistics, 2024. CA Cancer J Clin. 2024;74(1):12-49. doi:10.3322/caac.21820. Published correction appears in CA Cancer J Clin. 2024 Feb 16.

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