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Abstract

Each year, the American Cancer Society estimates the number of new cancer cases and deaths expected in the United States in the current year and compiles the most recent data on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival rates based on incidence data from the National Cancer Institute and mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Incidence and mortality rates are age standardized to the 2000 US standard million population. A total of 1,368,030 new cancer cases and 563,700 deaths are expected in the United States in 2004. Incidence rates stabilized among men from 1995 through 2000 but continued to increase among females by 0.4% per year from 1987 through 2000. Mortality rates have decreased by 1.5% per year since 1992 among men, but have stabilized from 1998 through 2000 among women. Cancer death rates continued to decrease from the three major cancer sites in men (lung and bronchus, colon and rectum, and prostate) and from female breast and colorectal cancers in women. In analyses by race and ethnicity, African-American men and women have 40% and 20% higher death rates from all cancers combined compared with White men and women, respectively. Cancer incidence and mortality rates are lower in other racial and ethnic groups than in Whites and African Americans for all sites combined and for the four major cancer sites. However, these groups generally have higher rates for stomach, liver, and cervical cancers than do Whites. Furthermore, minority populations are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stage disease than are Whites. Progress in reducing the burden from cancer can be accelerated by applying existing cancer control knowledge into practice among all segments of the population.