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How Many People Are Diagnosed With Cancer Each Year?

written by: Vikas Vij • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 1/8/2011

Wish to know how many people are diagnosed with cancer each year? The National Cancer Institute in the United States has compiled data which gives an indication of the cancer incidence trends in recent years.

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    How Many New Cancer Cases Are Diagnosed Each Year?

    One of the most frequently asked questions with regard to cancer is that how many people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Healthy people have a natural concern to know what their chances are of getting afflicted with any form of cancer. As per 2006 data available from Cancer.gov, 471.62 new cases of cancer per 100,000 of population are diagnosed each year in the United States. However, the good news is that the rate of new diagnoses of cancer as well as the rate of death from cancer has shown a decline in recent years in the United States. This trend has been observed across most ethnic and racial groups in the country and for both males and females.

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    Cancer Incidence Trends in Recent Decades

    The incidence of cancer continued to show a rise during the period between 1975 and 1989. Thereafter, for the next decade the cancer diagnosis rates continued to stagnate at similar levels. However, from 1999 to 2006, a considerable decline in cancer incidence has been noticed for both men and women. This trend has been consistently noticed across various major types of cancer, including prostate, breast, colorectal and lung.

    The general decline in cancer cases is primarily led by drops in the rates of new diagnoses for the three major cancers in males, which are prostate, lung and colorectal cancers, and two major cancers in females, namely, breast and colorectal cancers. From 1999 to 2006, the average drop in new cancer diagnoses in the United States has been nearly 1 percent per annum. These figures have been reported in the journal Cancer, in December 2009. The report was prepared by researchers from the CDC, the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.

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    Latest Estimates of New Cancer Diagnoses

    The most recent data available is of 2006 when new cases of cancer were diagnosed at the rate of 471.62 per 100,000 of population. New cases of prostate cancer were detected at the rate of 168.1 per 100,000 males per year. New breast cancer cases were diagnosed at the rate of 125.65 females per 100,000 per year. New cases of colorectal cases detected among males stood at 52.52 per year for males and 41.66 for females. Lung cancer incidence stood at 73.17 per 100,000 males and 53.24 for females per year.

    As per the available data, the racial and ethnic groups at the highest risk for getting new cancers are Blacks, followed by Whites. New cancer diagnoses are relatively lower among Asians, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, American Indians and Alaska Natives. The incidence of lung cancer among women has gone down considerably in recent years, but lung cancer still continues to be one of the leading causes of death among women as well.

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    Changing Trends of Cancer Sites

    While it is important to know how many people are diagnosed with cancer each year, it is also good to have an idea of the cancer site trends. Some types of cancers have shown very high rise in incidence rates in recent years, which include skin melanoma, kidney, renal pelvis and liver cancers, and cancers of the thyroid and bile duct. Some other cancers that have shown a rise in incidence rates include cancers of the pancreas and esophagus, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia.

    However, there are several other cancer sites where the incidence rates have been declining. These include ovarian cancers, cervix uteri, larynx, pharynx and oral cavity cancers. Many researchers are of the opinion that in recent years, the marked decline in breast cancer diagnoses may be attributable to the decline in Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). These are some key trends emerging from the data which has been collected and analyzed in recent years.