(HealthDay News) — Through 2030, breast, prostate, and lung cancers will remain the top cancer diagnoses; however, after that point, pancreas and liver cancers are projected to surpass breast and prostate, according to a study published online May 19 in Cancer Research.

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Lola Rahib, PhD, from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in Manhattan Beach, CA, and colleagues used expected changes in demographics and the average annual percentage changes in cancer incidences and death rates to project the cancer incidences and related deaths for 2030.

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The researchers estimate that breast, prostate, and lung cancers will remain the top cancer diagnoses throughout this time. However, by 2030 thyroid cancer will replace colorectal cancer as the fourth leading cancer diagnosis. 

Melanoma and uterine cancer will become the fifth and sixth most common cancers, respectively. Throughout this time period, lung cancer is projected to remain the top cancer killer. The second and third leading causes of cancer-related death, however, will change, with pancreas and liver cancers projected to surpass breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers by 2030.

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“Advances in screening, prevention, and treatment can change cancer incidence and/or death rates, but it will require a concerted effort by the research and healthcare communities now to effect a substantial change for the future,” the researchers wrote.

One author disclosed financial ties to the medical device industry.


  1. Rahib L, Smith BD, Aizenberg R, et al. Projecting Cancer Incidence and Deaths to 2030: The Unexpected Burden of Thyroid, Liver, and Pancreas Cancers in the United States. Cancer Res. 2014; doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-0155.