The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer has statistics on cancer deaths and new cases (incidence). The report includes long-term trends (since 2001) and short-term trends with the most recent five years of data (2012-2016 for incidence and 2013-2017 for mortality). For the first time, the Annual Report provides rates and trends for the most common cancers among children (aged 0-14) and adolescents and young adults or AYAs (aged 15-39).
Scroll down to learn more about trends in cancer incidence and mortality rates.
Cancer Death Rates
Downward trends in mortality (cancer death rates) are the gold standard for evidence of progress against cancer.
11 of the 19 most common cancers in men showed decreases in mortality between 2013-2017: leukemia, myeloma, melanoma of the skin, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and cancers of the colon/rectum, larynx, lung and bronchus, stomach, urinary bladder, esophagus, and kidney and renal pelvis. Oral cavity and pharynx, soft tissue including heart, brain and other nervous system (ONS), and pancreas showed increases in mortality for men between 2013-2017.
14 of the 20 most common cancers in women showed decreases in mortality: leukemia, myeloma, melanoma of the skin, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and cancers of the urinary bladder, breast, cervix, colon/rectum, esophagus, gallbladder, kidney and renal pelvis, lung and bronchus, ovary, and stomach. Melanoma had the greatest decrease in mortality. Uterus, liver, brain and ONS, soft tissue including heart, and pancreas showed increases in mortality for women between 2013-2017.
Children and AYA
Continued declines in cancer death rates among children likely result from improved treatment.
Rates of New Cancer
Incidence rates decreased for five cancers among males between 2012 and 2016: lung and bronchus, larynx, urinary bladder, colon and rectum, and brain and ONS. However, incidence rates increased for five cancers: Liver and intrahepatic bile duct, melanoma of the skin, kidney and renal pelvis, oral cavity and pharynx, and pancreas.
Incidence rates decreased for four cancers among females between 2012 and 2016: Ovary, lung and bronchus, urinary bladder, and brain and ONS. However, incidence rates increased for 8 of the 18 most common cancers: liver and intrahepatic bile duct, melanoma of the skin, corpus and uterus, myeloma, pancreas, kidney and renal pelvis, breast, and oral cavity and pharynx.
Children and AYA
Overall cancer incidence rates for AYA aged 15-39 increased an average of 0.9% per year between 2012 and 2016, and an average of 0.8% per year for children during that period.
Among children aged 0-14, the incidence rate for all cancer sites combined was 16.8 cases per 100,000 persons.
The most common cancer types among children included leukemia, brain and other nervous system, and lymphoma, with increasing trends for all three from 2001-2016.
The most common cancer among AYA was female breast cancer, which was highest among black AYA.
Three of the four most common cancer types among AYA (female breast, thyroid, and testis) increased during 2012-2016 but the fourth (lymphoma) decreased.
Factors potentially influencing childhood cancer incidence trends include changes over time in diagnostic technology, disease classification, and registry completeness, as well as changes in risk factors such as increasing maternal age.