Some Cancer Stats

Cancer is common. It’s the second-most common cause of death in the US and worldwide. A diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence however. Many people recover and live a long time. Cancer is not one disease; it’s a bunch of diseases, and the survival rates vary widely across cancer types.

About 1.7 million cases of cancer are diagnosed in the US every year, and 18 million worldwide. Over 600,000 people die from cancer in the US (over 1 out of 5 deaths) and 9.6 million worldwide (1 out of 6 deaths). Cancer is the leading cause of death for Americans under age 65.

The most common type of cancer is breast cancer or skin cancer , depending on how you classify things. (some epidemiologists separate melanoma from squamous cell skin cancer). Prostate cancer is also common, but breast and prostate cancers have high survival rates.

The cancer that causes the highest number of deaths is lung cancer. By a wide margin. An estimated 142,000 people die from lung cancer in the United States every year. That’s more than die from colorectal cancer (51K ), pancreatic cancer (46K) and breast cancer (42K) combined. Worldwide, lung cancer is also the leading cause of cancer mortality, with liver cancer second.

The federal government projects

Deaths in 2019

Lung cancer – 142,670

Colorectal cancer – 51,020

Pancreatic cancer – 45,750

Breast cancer – 42,260

One interesting statistic is the 5-year survival rate which differs considerably among types of cancer. In the US, two thirds of patients are still alive 5 years after diagnosis.