There were more than 18 million cancer survivors in the United States at the beginning of this year, according to statistics published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
The data suggest that most cancer survivors are 65 years of age or older, and the most common cancers are breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.
The data also revealed racial disparities with regard to stage at diagnosis and treatment patterns for some cancer types.
Researchers compiled incidence and survival data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results cancer registries; statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics; population projections from the US Census Bureau; and data on treatment patterns from the National Cancer Database.
The data suggest that, as of January 1, 2022, there were more than 18 million cancer survivors in the United States. This group includes 8.3 million male survivors and 9.7 million female survivors.
The most common cancers among female patients were breast cancer (n=4,055,770), uterine corpus cancer (n=891,560), and thyroid cancer (n=823,800). Among male patients, the most common cancers were prostate cancer (n=3,523,230), melanoma (n=760,640), and colorectal cancer (n=726,450).
Most cancer survivors (67%) were 65 years of age or older, and 53% of survivors had been diagnosed in the past 10 years.
Disparities Between Black and White Patients
Researchers found a substantial disparity in the diagnosis of stage I disease between White and Black patients for female breast cancer (68% vs 53%, respectively), melanoma (72% vs 39%), and uterine corpus/endometrial cancer (73% vs 59%).
Treatment patterns also varied between Black and White patients for certain cancer types. For stage I rectal cancer, White patients were more likely to receive proctectomy or proctocolectomy.
For stage I and II endometrial cancer, Black patients were more likely to receive chemotherapy after surgery, with or without radiation. For stage I and II non-small cell lung cancer, White patients were more likely to undergo surgery.
“To address these disparities and further progress in cancer survivorship, ongoing efforts to identify best practices for the equitable delivery of quality cancer treatment, rehabilitation, and posttreatment cancer care are needed,” the researchers concluded.
Miller KD, Nogueira L, Devasia T, et al. Cancer treatment and survivorship statistics, 2022. CA Cancer J Clin. Published online June 23, 2022. doi:10.3322/caac.21731