Statistics at a Glance

At a Glance

Based on estimates of new cancer cases in 2021, 4.6% of all new cases will occur among ages 15 to 39. 85.0% of AYAs diagnosed with cancer will survive their cancer for 5 years after diagnosis.


4.6%

Cancers diagnosed among AYAs, ages 15–39, 4.6%.

5-Year
Relative Survival

85.0% SEER 18, 2011–2017

New Cancer Cases, 2021

Estimated New Cancers Among AYAs in the U.S. in 2021 88,260

% of All New Cancer Cases at Any Age 4.6%

Common Types of New Cancers Among AYAs

Thyroid Cancer 12.748684569 (16%)
Breast Cancer 11.447408254 (15%)
Melanoma of the Skin 6.334206541 (8%)
Testicular Cancer 5.830653133 (8%)
Other 41.023899516 (53%)

Distribution based on age-adjusted rates of new cases.
SEER 21, 2014–2018.


Cancer Deaths, 2021

Estimated Cancer Deaths Among AYAs the U.S. in 2021 9,130

% of All Cancer Deaths at Any Age 1.5%

Common Cancer Types Causing Death Among AYAs

Breast Cancer 1.111008614 (12%)
Brain and Other Nervous System (ONS) Cancer 0.965371465 (11%)
Leukemia 0.911992181 (10%)
Colorectal Cancer 0.879408489 (10%)
Other 5.036129331 (57%)

Distribution based on age-adjusted death rates.
U.S. Mortality, 2014–2018.

In 2021, it is estimated that there will be 88,260 new cases of cancer among AYAs and 9,130 deaths due to cancer among AYAs.

Trends in Age-adjusted Incidence and Mortality Rates
Year Rate of New Cases — SEER 9 Rate of New Cases — SEER 13 Death Rate — U.S. 5-Year Relative Survival — SEER 9
Observed Modeled Trend Observed Modeled Trend Observed Modeled Trend Observed Modeled Trend
1975 58.13 58.31 - - 16.45 16.08 69.77% 70.34%
1976 57.73 58.44 - - 16.12 15.90 71.17% 70.87%
1977 59.67 58.57 - - 15.88 15.72 72.05% 71.40%
1978 59.01 58.70 - - 15.25 15.55 71.95% 71.92%
1979 58.41 58.82 - - 15.08 15.37 71.53% 72.43%
1980 58.77 58.95 - - 15.33 15.20 73.16% 72.94%
1981 59.91 60.27 - - 14.68 15.03 73.28% 73.44%
1982 61.26 61.62 - - 14.85 14.86 73.60% 72.86%
1983 62.17 62.99 - - 14.49 14.70 72.45% 72.28%
1984 64.55 64.40 - - 14.64 14.53 70.52% 71.69%
1985 66.80 65.84 - - 14.52 14.37 70.53% 71.09%
1986 68.26 67.31 - - 14.42 14.21 71.20% 70.48%
1987 69.75 68.82 - - 13.91 14.05 69.78% 69.86%
1988 69.93 70.36 - - 13.73 13.89 68.37% 69.23%
1989 71.58 71.93 - - 13.55 13.74 68.37% 68.59%
1990 72.91 73.54 - - 13.59 13.58 68.69% 67.93%
1991 71.72 72.51 - - 13.52 13.43 68.73% 67.27%
1992 72.80 71.50 71.17 69.81 13.38 13.28 69.39% 69.33%
1993 69.23 70.50 66.91 68.77 12.81 13.00 71.50% 71.29%
1994 69.54 69.51 67.51 67.74 12.76 12.72 71.96% 73.15%
1995 69.60 68.54 67.76 66.72 12.53 12.44 73.58% 74.91%
1996 67.64 67.58 65.65 65.72 12.29 12.18 77.73% 76.58%
1997 66.71 66.63 63.71 64.74 12.03 11.92 79.10% 78.15%
1998 65.83 67.29 63.22 63.77 11.80 11.66 80.13% 79.63%
1999 66.68 67.95 64.11 64.42 11.30 11.41 81.03% 81.02%
2000 68.11 68.61 64.71 65.07 11.06 11.16 80.75% 81.56%
2001 68.83 69.28 65.83 65.73 11.11 10.92 81.35% 82.09%
2002 70.54 69.96 66.77 66.40 10.79 10.69 82.77% 82.60%
2003 71.43 70.65 66.88 67.07 10.46 10.46 83.69% 83.10%
2004 72.35 71.34 68.46 67.76 10.06 10.23 84.07% 83.59%
2005 72.98 72.04 69.64 68.44 9.90 10.01 84.31% 84.06%
2006 70.40 72.74 67.80 69.14 9.88 9.80 84.33% 84.53%
2007 74.75 73.45 70.52 69.84 9.49 9.59 85.31% 84.98%
2008 77.36 74.17 73.68 70.55 9.49 9.51 86.38% 85.41%
2009 76.48 74.90 72.36 71.27 9.66 9.43 85.32% 85.84%
2010 74.82 75.63 70.89 71.99 9.33 9.35 86.06% 86.26%
2011 76.07 76.37 71.82 72.73 9.22 9.27 86.62% 86.66%
2012 76.72 77.12 73.53 73.46 9.09 9.19 86.71% 87.05%
2013 75.56 77.88 72.35 74.21 9.01 9.12 87.17% 87.44%
2014 78.91 78.64 75.16 74.97 9.05 9.04 - 87.81%
2015 78.69 79.41 75.59 75.73 8.90 8.96 - 88.17%
2016 80.57 80.19 76.60 76.50 9.03 8.89 - 88.52%
2017 77.10 77.44 74.17 74.51 8.76 8.81 - 88.86%
2018 74.96 74.79 72.75 72.58 8.78 8.74 - 89.19%

Modeled trend lines were calculated from the underlying rates using the Joinpoint Trend Analysis Software.

Using statistical models for analysis, rates of new cancer cases of any site among AYAs have been stable each year over 2009–2018, the last 10 years of available data. Death rates have been falling on average 0.8% each year over 2009–2018.

Survival Statistics

How Many AYAs Survive 5 Years Or More after Being Diagnosed with Cancer?

Relative survival is an estimate of the percentage of patients who would be expected to survive the effects of their cancer. It excludes the risk of dying from other causes. Because survival statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. No two patients are entirely alike, and treatment and responses to treatment can vary greatly.

85.0%

5-Year
Relative Survival

85.0%

Based on data from SEER 18 2011–2017. Gray figures represent AYAs who have died from cancer within 5 years of diagnosis. Green figures represent those who have survived 5 years or more.

5-year Relative Survival by Sex and Race

5-Year Relative Survival

Total 85.0
Males 81.7
Females 87.2
White 86.3
Black 75.3
Asian or Pacific Islander 82.8
American Indian / Alaska Native 81.6
Hispanic 81.3
Non-Hispanic 86.1

SEER 18 2011–2017, Ages 15–39
a Asian/Pacific Islander, b American Indian / Alaska Native

How Does Cancer Survival Among AYAs Compare to Cancer Survival at Other Ages?

5-Year Relative Survival

`
0–1484.691108245
15–39 85.042713694
40–64 73.060282181
65+ 60.239353374

SEER 18 2011–2017

New Cases and Deaths

New Cancers Among AYAs

The most common cancer type among AYAs is female breast cancer, with an age-adjusted rate of 22.9 new cases per 100,000 female AYAs, followed by thyroid cancer (12.7 per 100,000 AYAs) and testicular cancer (11.5 per 100,000 male AYAs). The 10 most common cancers among AYAs represent about 75% of new cancers among AYAs.

Rates of New Cases by Cancer Type and Sex
Male
Thyroid Cancer 4.796623221
Breast Cancer 0.087951188
Melanoma of the Skin 4.581652772
Testicular Cancer 11.518623839
Colorectal Cancer 4.931201644
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 4.88845535
Leukemia 4.084868989
Hodgkin Lymphoma 3.600064823
Cervical Cancer 0
Brain and Other Nervous System (ONS) Cancer 3.338813724
Female
Thyroid Cancer 20.854215567
Breast Cancer 22.880854154
Melanoma of the Skin 8.121436925
Testicular Cancer 0
Colorectal Cancer 5.07712953
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 3.43022993
Leukemia 2.979044993
Hodgkin Lymphoma 3.477699833
Cervical Cancer 6.076211439
Brain and Other Nervous System (ONS) Cancer 2.551752093

Age-adjusted rates of new cases per 100,000. SEER 21, 2014–2018.

Cancer Deaths Among AYAs

Female breast cancer is the deadliest cancer among AYAs with an age-adjusted death rate of 2.2 per 100,000 female AYAs, followed by brain and other nervous system (ONS) cancer (1.0 per 100,000 AYAs) and cervical cancer (0.9 per 100,000 female AYAs). The 10 deadliest cancers among AYAs represent about 70% of cancer deaths among AYAs.

Death Rates by Cancer Type and Sex
Male
Breast Cancer 0.008204202
Brain and Other Nervous System (ONS) Cancer 1.164994972
Leukemia 1.075643963
Colorectal Cancer 0.966177007
Cervical Cancer 0
Soft Tissue Cancer 0.487980677
Lung and Bronchus Cancer 0.431134035
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 0.480335195
Bone and Joint Cancer 0.392444976
Stomach Cancer 0.329249727
Female
Breast Cancer 2.219976402
Brain and Other Nervous System (ONS) Cancer 0.762496726
Leukemia 0.742856795
Colorectal Cancer 0.791933234
Cervical Cancer 0.932994737
Soft Tissue Cancer 0.374785043
Lung and Bronchus Cancer 0.351060746
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 0.258139534
Bone and Joint Cancer 0.236668503
Stomach Cancer 0.298615578

Age-adjusted death rates per 100,000. U.S., 2014–2018.

How Do Cancer Types Among AYAs Compare?

For comparison purposes, new cancer cases (incidence) and cancer deaths (mortality) are generally expressed as rates - that is, the number of new cases (or deaths) per 100,000 persons in the total population. Note that the total population varies depending on which group you are looking at, so, for example, the cancer incidence rate for females is the rate of new cancer cases per 100,000 females in the total population.

The table below gives the rate of new cases and deaths over the most recent five years of data and the five-year relative survival rate, representing the percent surviving their cancer for 5 years after diagnosis.

You can sort on any column by clicking the header to rank the case counts, deaths, incidence and mortality rates, relative survival in ascending or descending order.

Site Rate of New Cases (2014–2018) Death Rate (2014–2018) 5-Year Relative Survival (%) (2011–2017)
Bladder 0.6 0.0 89.3
Bone and Joint 0.9 0.3 71.2
Brain and Other Nervous System (ONS) 2.9 1.0 71.4
Breast 11.4 1.1 85.8
Cervix 6.1 0.9 79.4
Colon and Rectum 5.0 0.9 70.7
Hodgkin Lymphoma 3.5 0.1 95.8
Kidney and Renal Pelvis 2.4 0.2 88.4
Leukemia 3.5 0.9 70.7
Liver and Intrahepatic Bile Duct 0.5 0.2 36.1
Lung and Bronchus 1.0 0.4 47.8
Melanoma of the Skin 6.3 0.3 95.8
Myeloma 0.3 0.0 81.8
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 4.2 0.4 84.8
Oral Cavity and Pharynx 1.4 0.1 82.0
Ovary 2.9 0.4 80.9
Pancreas 0.6 0.2 52.9
Small Intestine 0.3 0.0 80.3
Soft Tissue 1.7 0.4 70.3
Stomach 0.9 0.3 34.5
Testis 11.5 0.4 95.3
Thyroid 12.7 0.0 99.7
Uterus 3.9 0.2 90.6
Rates of new cases are from SEER 21. Death rates are from the total U.S. Survival is from SEER 18.
Site Rate of New Cases (2014–2018) Death Rate (2014–2018) 5-Year Relative Survival (%) (2011–2017)
Bladder 0.4 0.0 82.4
Bone and Joint 0.7 0.2 76.2
Brain and Other Nervous System (ONS) 2.6 0.8 74.8
Breast 22.9 2.2 85.9
Cervix 6.1 0.9 79.4
Colon and Rectum 5.1 0.8 72.5
Hodgkin Lymphoma 3.5 0.1 96.4
Kidney and Renal Pelvis 2.0 0.1 90.5
Leukemia 3.0 0.7 71.2
Liver and Intrahepatic Bile Duct 0.4 0.2 40.2
Lung and Bronchus 1.1 0.4 53.5
Melanoma of the Skin 8.1 0.2 97.5
Myeloma 0.3 0.0 84.5
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 3.4 0.3 88.7
Oral Cavity and Pharynx 1.3 0.1 86.3
Ovary 2.9 0.4 80.9
Pancreas 0.7 0.2 63.3
Small Intestine 0.3 0.0 85.1
Soft Tissue 1.6 0.4 74.2
Stomach 0.9 0.3 41.4
Testis - - -
Thyroid 20.9 0.0 99.8
Uterus 3.9 0.2 90.6
Rates of new cases are from SEER 21. Death rates are from the total U.S. Survival is from SEER 18.
Site Rate of New Cases (2014–2018) Death Rate (2014–2018) 5-Year Relative Survival (%) (2011–2017)
Bladder 0.9 0.0 92.2
Bone and Joint 1.0 0.4 67.8
Brain and Other Nervous System (ONS) 3.3 1.2 68.8
Breast 0.1 0.0 70.0
Cervix - - -
Colon and Rectum 4.9 1.0 68.9
Hodgkin Lymphoma 3.6 0.1 95.2
Kidney and Renal Pelvis 2.7 0.2 86.8
Leukemia 4.1 1.1 70.3
Liver and Intrahepatic Bile Duct 0.6 0.3 33.7
Lung and Bronchus 1.0 0.4 41.8
Melanoma of the Skin 4.6 0.3 93.1
Myeloma 0.4 0.0 79.9
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 4.9 0.5 82.2
Oral Cavity and Pharynx 1.6 0.2 78.5
Ovary - - -
Pancreas 0.6 0.3 41.1
Small Intestine 0.3 0.0 75.4
Soft Tissue 1.8 0.5 67.2
Stomach 0.9 0.3 27.4
Testis 11.5 0.4 95.3
Thyroid 4.8 0.0 99.2
Uterus - - -
Rates of new cases are from SEER 21. Death rates are from the total U.S. Survival is from SEER 18.

Who Gets This Cancer?

The age-adjusted incidence rate among AYAs was 77.4 per 100,000 AYAs per year based on 2014–2018 cases.

Rates of New Cancers Among AYAs per 100,000 AYAs by Race/Ethnicity & Sex (ages 15–39)
Males
All Races 58.7
White 62.5
Black 43.7
Asian/Pacific Islander 41.3
American Indian/Alaska Native 40.3
Hispanic 49.4
Non-Hispanic 61.8
Females
All Races 96.2
White 101.1
Black 77.0
Asian/Pacific Islander 75.6
American Indian/Alaska Native 69.3
Hispanic 83.3
Non-Hispanic 100.5

SEER 21 2014–2018, Age-Adjusted

Who Dies From This Cancer?

The death rate was 8.9 per 100,000 AYAs per year based on 2014–2018 deaths.

Death Rates Among AYAs per 100,000 AYAs by Race/Ethnicity & Sex (Ages 15–39)
Males
All Races 8.3
White 8.4
Black 9.3
Asian/Pacific Islander 6.4
American Indian/Alaska Native 7.7
Hispanic 7.5
Non-Hispanic 8.6
Females
All Races 9.5
White 9.3
Black 12.0
Asian/Pacific Islander 6.9
American Indian/Alaska Native 7.9
Hispanic 8.7
Non-Hispanic 9.6

U.S. 2014–2018, Age-Adjusted

Trends in Rates

Changes Over Time

Keeping track of new cases, deaths, and survival over time (trends) can help scientists understand whether progress is being made and where additional research is needed to address challenges, such as improving screening or finding better treatments.

Interactive Statistics with SEER*Explorer

With SEER*Explorer, you can...
  • Create custom graphs and tables
  • Download data and images
  • Share links to results

SEER*Explorer is an interactive website that provides easy access to a wide range of SEER cancer statistics. It provides detailed statistics for a cancer site by gender, race, calendar year, age, and for a selected number of cancer sites, by stage and histology.

Explore Additional Cancer Statistics Among AYAs

More About Cancer

More Information

Here are some resources for learning more about cancer.

References

All statistics in this report are based on statistics from SEER and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Most can be found within SEER*Explorer.

Suggested Citation

All material in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission; citation as to source, however, is appreciated.

SEER Cancer Stat Facts: Cancer Among Adolescents and Young Adults (AYAs). National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/aya.html

These stat facts focus on population statistics that are based on the U.S. population. Because these statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. To see tailored statistics, browse SEER*Explorer. To see statistics for a specific state, go to the State Cancer Profiles.

The statistics presented in these stat facts are based on the most recent data available, most of which can be found in SEER*Explorer. In some cases, different year spans may be used.

Estimates of new cases and deaths for 2021 are projections made by the American Cancer Society (ACS), based on earlier reported data.

Cancer is a complex topic. There is a wide range of information available. These stat facts do not address causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up care, or decision making, although links are provided to information in many of these areas.