The number of cancer survivors currently in the United States is estimated at just under 14 million people. Expect to see that number continue to rise throughout the next decade.

Cancer survivors number is increasing

The American Association for Cancer Research released its second Annual Report on Cancer Survivorship in the United States in advance of the AACR Annual Meeting 2013, and one of the major pieces of research in this report is the expected 31 percent increase in cancer survivors by 2022. “The increase in the number of survivors will be due primarily to an aging of the population. By 2020, we expect that two-thirds of cancer survivors are going to be age 65 or older,” Julia Rowland, PhD, Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship at the National Cancer Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health, told the ASCO Post. Another noteworthy item is how survivorship is not equal among different types of cancer: In addition to providing estimates of future cancer survival trends, the report shows that survival is not uniform across cancer subtypes. Currently, women with breast cancer account for 22% of survivors, while men with prostate cancer make up 20%. People with lung cancer, the second most common cancer in terms of diagnosis, only represent 3% of survivors. The data lays out a pretty clear need for an increase in the quality of lung cancer treatments, as well as the need for improved survivorship care. “How to ensure that these patients lead not only long lives, but healthy and productive lives, will be a vital challenge to all of us,” said Dr. Rowland.