The report also shows a decline in cancer diagnosis in men while remaining stable in women.
There’s good news from The American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute who have both analyzed data from the past year and found the amount of people surviving cancer is increasing. Not only that but they estimate this increase is set to go even higher over the next decade.
The new report shows there are an estimated 15.5 million people in the U.S. who have had a history of cancer as of January 2016 and this is likely to increase to 20 million after 2026.
The reason is thought to be down to developing advanced treatments and better diagnosis as well as the aging population and population growth. The report also states that diagnosis of cancer in men in on the decline while remaining stable in women.
“These findings are really important because they’re essential for the public health community, advocacy groups, and policy makers to have an understanding of the current and future cancer survivors and their needs in order to best serve them,” study author Kim Miller, an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society, told CBS News. “Many survivors cope with long-term physical, psychological, and socio-economic effects.”
The study looked at cancer survivors which is defined as people having been diagnosed with cancer in the past, those currently being treated and those declared cancer-free for 30 years. The statistics showed there to be significance in age with those over 70 making up half of the cancer survivor population.
The most prevalent cancers in male survivors included melanoma and colorectal cancer while for women they were colorectal, uterine and breast cancer.
Researchers now are focusing on aftercare for patients. With the rapid increase in advanced and successful treatments comes the unknown after effects and medical complications which often don’t show up until many years after treatment is complete.
“We need to better understand the impacts of the treatments given to cancer patients on their medical and psychological functioning and be able to identify individuals who are at risk for developing these problems and then try to intervene early on to prevent or mitigate symptoms as they appear,” study co-author Kevin Stein stated.
The report was published in the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.