Statistics at a Glance

At a Glance

Based on estimates of new cancer cases in 2020, 5.0% of all new cases will occur among ages 15 to 39. 84.6% of AYAs diagnosed with cancer will survive their cancer for 5 years after diagnosis.


5.0%

Cancers diagnosed among AYAs, ages 15–39, 5.0%.

5-Year
Relative Survival

84.6% SEER 18, 2010–2016

New Cancer Cases, 2020

Estimated New Cancers Among AYAs in the U.S. in 2020 89,500

% of All New Cancer Cases at Any Age 5.0%

Common Types of New Cancers Among AYAs

Thyroid Cancer 12.786164793 (17%)
Breast Cancer 11.359113793 (15%)
Melanoma of the Skin 6.390748732 (8%)
Testicular Cancer 5.772237248 (8%)
Other 39.210070861 (52%)

Distribution based on age-adjusted rates of new cases.
SEER 21, 2013–2017.


Cancer Deaths, 2020

Estimated Cancer Deaths Among AYAs the U.S. in 2020 9,270

% of All Cancer Deaths at Any Age 1.5%

Common Cancer Types Causing Death Among AYAs

Breast Cancer 1.103934348 (12%)
Brain and Other Nervous System (ONS) Cancer 0.963893544 (11%)
Leukemia 0.92719109 (10%)
Colorectal Cancer 0.874593821 (10%)
Other 5.080935847 (57%)

Distribution based on age-adjusted death rates.
U.S. Mortality, 2013–2017.

In 2020, it is estimated that there will be 89,500 new cases of cancer among AYAs and 9,270 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 69.80% 70.49%
1976 57.73 58.44 - - 16.12 15.90 71.16% 70.93%
1977 59.67 58.57 - - 15.88 15.72 72.03% 71.37%
1978 59.00 58.70 - - 15.25 15.55 71.92% 71.80%
1979 58.41 58.83 - - 15.08 15.37 71.53% 72.22%
1980 58.75 58.96 - - 15.33 15.20 73.12% 72.64%
1981 59.88 60.27 - - 14.68 15.03 73.27% 73.06%
1982 61.25 61.61 - - 14.85 14.86 73.60% 72.60%
1983 62.17 62.98 - - 14.49 14.70 72.47% 72.14%
1984 64.55 64.38 - - 14.64 14.53 70.52% 71.67%
1985 66.80 65.81 - - 14.52 14.37 70.53% 71.20%
1986 68.27 67.28 - - 14.42 14.21 71.15% 70.72%
1987 69.74 68.77 - - 13.91 14.05 69.80% 70.24%
1988 69.93 70.30 - - 13.73 13.89 68.34% 69.74%
1989 71.58 71.86 - - 13.55 13.74 68.34% 69.25%
1990 72.90 73.46 - - 13.59 13.58 68.67% 68.74%
1991 71.72 72.49 - - 13.52 13.43 68.73% 68.23%
1992 72.79 71.52 71.16 69.79 13.38 13.28 69.37% 67.71%
1993 69.23 70.57 66.90 68.75 12.81 13.00 71.45% 70.17%
1994 69.52 69.63 67.50 67.73 12.76 12.72 71.96% 72.48%
1995 69.59 68.71 67.75 66.73 12.53 12.44 73.58% 74.64%
1996 67.62 67.80 65.63 65.73 12.29 12.18 77.71% 76.67%
1997 66.67 66.90 63.68 64.76 12.03 11.92 79.09% 78.55%
1998 65.82 66.01 63.20 63.80 11.80 11.66 80.11% 80.30%
1999 66.67 66.81 64.10 64.35 11.30 11.41 81.04% 80.87%
2000 68.10 67.63 64.70 64.91 11.06 11.17 80.75% 81.43%
2001 68.19 68.46 65.22 65.47 11.11 10.93 81.28% 81.97%
2002 69.84 69.29 66.12 66.04 10.79 10.69 82.65% 82.49%
2003 70.73 70.14 66.22 66.61 10.46 10.46 83.70% 83.01%
2004 71.40 71.00 67.64 67.18 10.06 10.24 83.92% 83.50%
2005 72.12 71.86 68.84 67.76 9.90 10.02 84.20% 83.99%
2006 69.43 72.74 66.93 68.35 9.88 9.80 84.25% 84.46%
2007 73.81 73.63 69.65 68.94 9.49 9.59 85.21% 84.92%
2008 76.42 74.53 72.76 69.54 9.49 9.51 86.31% 85.37%
2009 75.75 74.83 71.66 70.14 9.66 9.43 85.21% 85.81%
2010 73.93 75.14 69.98 70.75 9.33 9.35 86.02% 86.23%
2011 74.94 75.45 70.85 71.36 9.22 9.27 86.53% 86.64%
2012 75.59 75.76 72.48 71.98 9.09 9.19 86.51% 87.04%
2013 74.24 76.06 71.10 72.60 9.01 9.11 - 87.43%
2014 77.75 76.38 74.11 73.23 9.05 9.03 - 87.81%
2015 77.46 76.69 74.35 73.86 8.90 8.95 - 88.18%
2016 79.09 77.00 75.08 74.50 9.03 8.88 - 88.54%
2017 75.28 77.32 72.37 75.15 8.76 8.80 - 88.88%

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 rising on average 0.4% each year over 2008–2017, the last 10 years of available data. Death rates have been falling on average 0.9% each year over 2008–2017.

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.

84.6%

5-Year
Relative Survival

84.6%

Based on data from SEER 18 2010–2016. 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 84.6
Males 81.2
Females 86.7
White 85.9
Black 74.5
Asian or Pacific Islander 82.3
American Indian / Alaska Native 81.2
Hispanic 80.8
Non-Hispanic 85.6

SEER 18 2010–2016, 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

`
0–1484.071429661
15–39 84.554915131
40–64 72.718151693
65+ 60.067643055

SEER 18 2010–2016

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 22.7 new cases per 100,000 female AYAs, followed by thryoid cancer (12.8 per 100,000 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 4.799964368
Breast Cancer 0.078783623
Melanoma of the Skin 4.664423143
Testicular Cancer 11.412681612
Colorectal Cancer 4.76791688
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 4.901365881
Hodgkin Lymphoma 3.572029096
Leukemia 4.007152466
Cervical Cancer 0
Brain and Other Nervous System (ONS) Cancer 3.334106208
Female
Thyroid Cancer 20.906456743
Breast Cancer 22.68236177
Melanoma of the Skin 8.148890529
Testicular Cancer 0
Colorectal Cancer 4.812563946
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 3.403615847
Hodgkin Lymphoma 3.510733613
Leukemia 2.94255991
Cervical Cancer 5.987463862
Brain and Other Nervous System (ONS) Cancer 2.539865108

Age-adjusted rates of new cases per 100,000. SEER 21, 2013–2017.

Cancer Deaths Among AYAs

Female breast cancer is the deadliest cancer among AYAs with an age-adjusted death rate of 1.1 per 100,000 female AYAs, followed by brain and other nervous system (ONS) cancer (1.0 per 100,000 AYAs) and leukemia (0.9 per 100,000 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 0.012214101
Brain and Other Nervous System (ONS) Cancer 1.149575765
Leukemia 1.095066113
Colorectal Cancer 0.965550846
Cervical Cancer 0
Soft Tissue Cancer 0.499465295
Lung and Bronchus Cancer 0.452041075
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 0.494081357
Stomach Cancer 0.327384984
Bone and Joint Cancer 0.399339213
Female
Breast Cancer 2.199508947
Brain and Other Nervous System (ONS) Cancer 0.77551763
Leukemia 0.754122254
Colorectal Cancer 0.783032405
Cervical Cancer 0.931251731
Soft Tissue Cancer 0.364817951
Lung and Bronchus Cancer 0.366473428
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 0.274539432
Stomach Cancer 0.306479328
Bone and Joint Cancer 0.229700786

Age-adjusted death rates per 100,000. U.S., 2013–2017.

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 (2013–2017) Death Rate (2013–2017) 5-Year Relative Survival (%) (2010–2016)
Bladder 0.6 0.0 89.4
Bone and Joint 0.9 0.3 69.6
Brain and Other Nervous System (ONS) 2.9 1.0 70.3
Breast 11.4 1.1 85.5
Cervix 6.0 0.9 80.0
Colon and Rectum 4.8 0.9 69.6
Hodgkin Lymphoma 3.5 0.1 95.4
Kidney and Renal Pelvis 2.3 0.2 88.2
Leukemia 3.5 0.9 68.7
Liver and Intrahepatic Bile Duct 0.5 0.2 33.9
Lung and Bronchus 1.0 0.4 46.6
Melanoma of the Skin 6.4 0.3 95.3
Myeloma 0.3 0.0 81.5
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 4.2 0.4 84.3
Oral Cavity and Pharynx 1.4 0.1 82.3
Ovary 2.9 0.4 80.8
Pancreas 0.6 0.2 50.2
Small Intestine 0.3 0.0 77.7
Soft Tissue 1.7 0.4 69.3
Stomach 0.9 0.3 34.5
Testis 11.4 0.3 95.5
Thyroid 12.8 0.0 99.7
Uterus 3.7 0.2 90.2
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 (2013–2017) Death Rate (2013–2017) 5-Year Relative Survival (%) (2010–2016)
Bladder 0.4 0.0 85.1
Bone and Joint 0.8 0.2 75.1
Brain and Other Nervous System (ONS) 2.5 0.8 73.8
Breast 22.7 2.2 85.5
Cervix 6.0 0.9 80.0
Colon and Rectum 4.8 0.8 71.3
Hodgkin Lymphoma 3.5 0.1 96.1
Kidney and Renal Pelvis 2.0 0.1 89.9
Leukemia 2.9 0.8 68.7
Liver and Intrahepatic Bile Duct 0.3 0.2 38.0
Lung and Bronchus 1.1 0.4 52.9
Melanoma of the Skin 8.1 0.3 97.1
Myeloma 0.3 0.0 83.5
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 3.4 0.3 88.4
Oral Cavity and Pharynx 1.3 0.1 85.5
Ovary 2.9 0.4 80.8
Pancreas 0.7 0.2 60.6
Small Intestine 0.3 0.0 81.4
Soft Tissue 1.5 0.4 71.7
Stomach 0.9 0.3 40.3
Testis - - -
Thyroid 20.9 0.0 99.8
Uterus 3.7 0.2 90.2
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 (2013–2017) Death Rate (2013–2017) 5-Year Relative Survival (%) (2010–2016)
Bladder 0.9 0.0 91.1
Bone and Joint 1.0 0.4 66.0
Brain and Other Nervous System (ONS) 3.3 1.1 67.8
Breast 0.1 0.0 75.0
Cervix - - -
Colon and Rectum 4.8 1.0 67.8
Hodgkin Lymphoma 3.6 0.1 94.8
Kidney and Renal Pelvis 2.7 0.2 87.0
Leukemia 4.0 1.1 68.6
Liver and Intrahepatic Bile Duct 0.6 0.3 31.5
Lung and Bronchus 1.0 0.5 40.0
Melanoma of the Skin 4.7 0.4 92.2
Myeloma 0.4 0.0 80.1
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 4.9 0.5 81.6
Oral Cavity and Pharynx 1.6 0.2 79.7
Ovary - - -
Pancreas 0.5 0.3 38.4
Small Intestine 0.3 0.0 74.0
Soft Tissue 1.8 0.5 67.2
Stomach 0.9 0.3 28.6
Testis 11.4 0.3 95.5
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 75.5 per 100,000 AYAs per year based on 2013–2017 cases.

Rates of New Cancers Among AYAs per 100,000 AYAs by Race/Ethnicity & Sex (ages 15–39)
Males
All Races 57.1
White 60.8
Black 43.0
Asian/Pacific Islander 40.1
American Indian/Alaska Native 38.7
Hispanic 47.4
Non-Hispanic 60.5
Females
All Races 94.0
White 99.0
Black 74.6
Asian/Pacific Islander 73.3
American Indian/Alaska Native 65.6
Hispanic 79.9
Non-Hispanic 98.6

SEER 21 2013–2017, Age-Adjusted

Who Dies From This Cancer?

The death rate was 9.0 per 100,000 AYAs per year based on 2013–2017 deaths.

Death Rates Among AYAs per 100,000 AYAs by Race/Ethnicity & Sex (Ages 15–39)
Males
All Races 8.4
White 8.5
Black 9.5
Asian/Pacific Islander 6.5
American Indian/Alaska Native 7.8
Hispanic 7.5
Non-Hispanic 8.7
Females
All Races 9.5
White 9.3
Black 11.9
Asian/Pacific Islander 7.1
American Indian/Alaska Native 8.6
Hispanic 8.7
Non-Hispanic 9.7

U.S. 2013–2017, 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:

Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Miller D, Brest A, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975–2017, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2017/, based on November 2019 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2020.

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 the SEER Cancer Statistics Review. 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 the SEER Cancer Statistics Review. In some cases, different year spans may be used.

Estimates of new cases and deaths for 2020 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.