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Number of Cancer Survivors Projected to Grow in the U.S.

By 2024, an estimated 19 million Americans will have a history of cancer

WEDNESDAY, June 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Factors such as the aging and growth of the population accompanied by improvements in early detection and treatment are expected to contribute to the growth of the number of cancer survivors in the United States, according to research published online June 1 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Carol E. DeSantis, M.P.H., of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program registries to estimate the number of current and future cancer survivors in the United States.

The researchers found that, as of Jan. 1, 2014, almost 14.5 million Americans had a history of cancer. By Jan. 1, 2024, the number of Americans with a history of cancer is projected to increase to almost 19 million. The most common cancers among men are prostate cancer (43 percent), colorectal cancer (9 percent), and melanoma (8 percent). The most common cancers among women are breast cancer (41 percent), uterine corpus cancer (8 percent), and colon and rectum cancer (8 percent).

"It is important for clinicians to understand the unique medical and psychosocial needs of cancer survivors and to proactively assess and manage these issues," the authors write. "There are a growing number of resources that can assist patients, caregivers, and health care providers in navigating the various phases of cancer survivorship."

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