Overall Cancer Statistics

Special Topic: Early Assessment of the COVID-19 Pandemic's Impact on Cancer Diagnosis

Shareable Resources

Key Points

  • The Annual Report to the Nation provides recent trends in rates of new cancer cases (incidence) and death rates (mortality) in the United States.
  • Overall, cancer death rates decreased 2.3% per year (on average) among males and 1.9% per year (on average) among females.
  • Cancer death rates decreased an average of 0.9% per year among AYAs, and an average of 1.5% per year among children between 2015 and 2019.
  • The most common cancer types among children included leukemia, brain and other nervous system, and lymphoma, with increasing incidence trends for all three from 2001-2018.

This year's Special Topic focuses on the relationship between cancer diagnoses in the U.S. and the disruptions caused by the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Between March and May of 2020, cancer registries recorded far fewer cancer cases than expected. April of 2020 had the lowest number of cancer diagnoses for all six cancer sites: breast, lung, colorectal, prostate, pancreatic, and thyroid.
  • While the rate of new cancer diagnoses hovered around predicted levels in the second half of 2020, it did not make up for the drop seen between March and May.

Related Resources