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Cancer Statistics 1930-1996

mindfully.org 2000

The American Cancer Society's (ACS) website graphical data purposefully avoids showing comparable statistics on age-adjusted cancer incidence for similar years (1930 1996) because it would illustrate a steep increase in incidence (the number of new cancer cases recorded) during that period. Instead, they focus on death rates which have no bearing whatsoever on the numbers of people getting cancer to begin with. 

Mindfully.org believes that prevention is, by far, the more important statistic to be concerned with. This is not to say that curing existing cancers is not of vital importance, but that preventing new cases should be the highest priority.

Probability of Developing Invasive Cancers Over Selected Age Intervals, by Sex, United States, 1994–1996

  Birth to 39 (%) 40 to 59 (%) 60 to 79 (%) Birth to Death (%)
All sites† Male 1.61
(1 in 62)
8.17
(1 in 12)
33.65
(1 in 3)
43.56
(1 in 2)
Female 1.94
(1 in 52)
9.23
(1 in 11)
22.27
(1 in 4)
38.11
(1 in 3)
Breast Female 0.43
(1 in 235)
4.06
(1 in 25)
6.88
(1 in 15)
12.56
(1 in 8)
Colon & Rectum Male 0.06
(1 in 1,579)
0.85
(1 in 124)
3.97
(1 in 29)
5.64
(1 in 18)
Female 0.05
(1 in 1,947)
0.67
(1 in 149)
3.06
(1 in 33)
5.55
(1 in 18)
Lung & Bronchus Male 0.04
(1 in 2,592)
1.29
(1 in 78)
6.35
(1 in 16)
8.11
(1 in 12)
Female 0.03
(1 in 2,894)
0.94 (
1 in 106)
3.98
(1 in 25)
5.69
(1 in 18)
Prostate Male Less than 1 in 10,000 1.90
(1 in 53)
13.69
(1 in 7)
15.91
(1 in 6)
*Of those free of cancer at beginning of age interval. Based on cancer cases diagnosed during 1994–1996. The "1 in" statistic and the inverse of the percentage may not be equivalent due to rounding.

†Excludes basal and squamous cell skin cancers and in situ carcinomas except urinary bladder. Source: DEVCAN Software, Version 4.0, Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, 1973–1996, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute.

American Cancer Society, Surveillance Research

 


Estimated New Cancer Cases and Deaths by Sex for All Sites, United States, 2000*

  Estimated New Cases Estimated Deaths
  Both Sexes Male Female Both Sexes Male Female
All Sites 1,220,100 619,700 600,400 552,200 284,100 268,100
Oral cavity & pharynx 30,200 20,200 10,000 7,800 5,100 2,700
Tongue 6,900 4,500 2,400 1,700 1,100 600
Mouth 10,900 6,500 4,400 2,300 1,300 1,000
Pharynx 8,200 5,900 2,300 2,100 1,500 600
Other oral cavity 4,200 3,300 900 1,700 1,200 500
Digestive system 226,600 117,600 109,000 129,800 69,300 60,500
Esophagus 12,300 9,200 3,100 12,100 9,200 2,900
Stomach 21,500 13,400 8,100 13,000 7,600 5,400
Small intestine 4,700 2,300 2,400 1,200 600 600
Colon 93,800 43,400 50,400 47,700 23,100 24,600
Rectum 36,400 20,200 16,200 8,600 4,700 3,900
Anus, anal canal, & anorectum 3,400 1,400 2,000 500 200 300>
Liver & intrahepatic bile duct 15,300 10,000 5,300 13,800 8,500 5,300
Gallbladder & other biliary 6,900 2,900 4,000 3,400 1,200 2,200
Pancreas 28,300 13,700 14,600 28,200 13,700 14,500
Other digestive organs 4,000 1,100 2,900 1,300 500 800
Respiratory system 179,400 101,500 77,900 161,900 93,100 68,800
Larynx 10,100 8,100 2,000 3,900 3,100 800
Lung & bronchus 164,100 89,500 74,600 156,900 89,300 67,600
Other respiratory organs 5,200 3,900 1,300 1,100 700 400
Bones & joints 2,500 1,500 1,000 1,400 800 600
Soft tissue (including heart) 8,100 4,300 3,800 4,600 2,200 2,400
Skin (excluding basal & squamous) 56,900 34,100 22,800 9,600 6,000 3,600
Melanoma-skin 47,700 27,300 20,400 7,700 4,800 2,900
Other non-epithelial skin 9,200 6,800 2,400 1,900 1,200 700
Breast 184,200 1,400 182,800 41,200 400 40,800
Genital system 265,900 188,400 77,500 59,000 32,500 26,500
Uterine cervix 12,800 12,800 4,600 4,600
Uterine corpus 36,100 36,100 6,500 6,500
Ovary 23,100 23,100 14,000 14,000
Vulva 3,400 3,400 800 800
Vagina & other genital, female 2,100 2,100 600 600
Prostate 180,400 180,400 31,900 31,900
Testis 6,900 6,900 300 300
Penis & other genital, male 1,100 1,100 300 300
Urinary system 86,700 58,600 28,100 24,600 15,700 8,900
Urinary bladder 53,200 38,300 14,900 12,200 8,100 4,100
Kidney & renal pelvis 31,200 18,800 12,400 11,900 7,300 4,600
Ureter & other urinary organs 2,300 1,500 800 500 300 200
Eye & orbit 2,200 1,200 1,000 200 100 100
Brain & other nervous system 16,500 9,500 7,000 13,000 7,100 5,900
Endocrine system 20,200 5,600 14,600 2,100 1,000 1,100
Thyroid 18,400 4,700 13,700 1,200 500 700
Other endocrine 1,800 900 900 900 500 400
Lymphoma 62,300 35,900 26,400 27,500 14,400 13,100
Hodgkin’s disease 7,400 4,200 3,200 1,400 700 700
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma 54,900 31,700 23,200 26,100 13,700 12,400
Multiple myeloma 13,600 7,300 6,300 11,200 5,800 5,400
Leukemia 30,800 16,900 13,900 21,700 12,100 9,600
Acute lymphocytic leukemia 3,200 1,800 1,400 1,300 700 600
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia 8,100 4,600 3,500 4,800 2,800 2,000
Acute myeloid leukemia 9,700 4,800 4,900 7,100 3,900 3,200
Chronic myeloid leukemia 4,400 2,600 1,800 2,300 1,300 1,000
Other leukemia 5,400 3,100 2,300 6,200 3,400 2,800
Other & unspecified primary sites 34,000 15,700 18,300 36,600 18,500 18,100

*Excludes basal and squamous cell skin cancers and in situ carcinomas except urinary bladder. Carcinoma in situ of the breast accounts for about 42,600 new cases annually, and melanoma in situ accounts for about 28,600 new cases annually. Estimates of new cases are based on incidence rates from the NCI SEER program 1979-1996.

Sources of Statistics

Cancer Deaths. The estimated numbers of US cancer deaths are calculated by fitting the numbers of cancer deaths for 1979 through 1997 to a statistical model which forecasts the numbers of deaths that are expected to occur in 2000. The estimated numbers of cancer deaths for each state are calculated similarly, using state level data. For both the US and state estimates, data on the numbers of deaths are obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We discourage the use of our estimates to track year-to-year changes in cancer deaths because the numbers can vary considerably from year to year, particularly for less common cancers and for smaller states. Mortality rates reported by NCHS are generally more informative statistics to use when tracking cancer mortality trends.

Mortality Rates. Mortality rates or death rates are defined as the number of people per 100,000 dying of a disease during a given year. In this publication, mortality rates are based on counts of cancer deaths compiled by NCHS for 1973 through 1997 and population data from the US Bureau of the Census.

New Cancer Cases. The estimated numbers of new US cancer cases are calculated by estimating the numbers of cancer cases that occurred each year for 1979 through 1996 and fitting these estimates to a statistical model which forecasts the numbers of cases that are expected to occur in 2000. Estimates of the numbers of cancer cases for 1979 through 1996 are used rather than actual case counts because case data are not available for all 50 states. The estimated numbers of cases for 1979 through 1996 are calculated using cancer incidence rates from the regions of the United States included in the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program and population data collected by the US Bureau of the Census.

State case estimates cannot be calculated using the same modeling strategy that we use to calculate state death estimates. Instead, estimates are calculated using cancer deaths forecasted for each state for 2000 and US estimates of new cancer cases and cancer deaths for 2000.

Like the method used to calculate cancer deaths, the methods used to estimate new US and state cases for the upcoming year can produce numbers that vary considerably from year to year, particularly for less common cancers and for smaller states. For this reason, we discourage the use of our estimates to track year-to-year changes in cancer occurrence. Incidence rates reported by SEER are generally more informative statistics to use when tracking cancer incidence trends for the total United States, and rates from state cancer registries are useful for tracking local trends.

Incidence Rates. Incidence rates are defined as the number of people per 100,000 who develop disease during a given time period. For this publication, incidence rates were calculated using data on cancer cases collected by the SEER program and population data collected by the US Bureau of the Census. State incidence rates presented in this publication were originally published in the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries’ publication Cancer Incidence in North America, 1991-1995. Incidence rates for the United States were originally published in the SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1973-1996.

Survival. Five-year relative survival rates are presented in this report for cancer patients diagnosed between 1989 and 1995 and followed through 1996. To adjust for normal life expectancy (factors such as dying of heart disease, accidents, and diseases of old age), these rates are calculated by dividing 5-year survival rates for cancer patients by 5-year survival rates for people in the general population who are similar to the patient group with respect to age, gender, race, and calendar year of observation. All survival statistics presented in this publication were originally published in the SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1973-1996.

Probability of Developing Cancer. Probabilities of developing cancer are calculated using DEVCAN (Probability of DEVeloping CANcer Software) developed by the National Cancer Institute. These probabilities reflect the average experience of people in the United States and do not take into account individual behaviors and risk factors. For example, the estimated 1 man in 1,200 likely to develop lung cancer is a low estimate for smokers and a high estimate for nonsmokers.

Additional Information. More information on the methods used to generate the statistics for this report can be found in the following publications:

A. For information on data collection methods used by the National Center for Health Statistics: National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1997, Vol II, Mortality, Part A. Washington: Public Health Service. 1999.

B. For information on data collection methods used by the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program: Ries LAG, Kosary CL, Hankey BF, et al. (eds.). SEER Cancer Statistic Review, 1973-1996. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, 1999 or visit the SEER web site at  http://www-seer.ims.nci.nih.gov .

C. For information on the methods used to estimate the numbers of new cancer cases and deaths: Wingo PA, Landis S, Parker S, Bolden S, Heath CW. Using cancer registry and vital statistics data to estimate the number of new cancer cases and deaths in the Unites States for the upcoming year. J Reg Management 1998;25(2):43-51.

D. For information on the methods used to calculate the probability of developing cancer: Feuer EJ, Wun L-M, Boring CC et al. The lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. JNCI 1993; 85:892-897.

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