Cancer Statistics 2018

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Cancer is the second most prevalent cause of death in the U.S. and is vying for number one.  It is also a major source of morbidity for a large portion of the American population and usually consumes 11% to 35% of employer health benefit dollars on average.  Approximately 8.7% of the U.S. population has been diagnosed with cancer translating into more than 21 million people.

Cancer touches almost every family in some way and is a leading health concern for a significant portion of our working population. In this article, the authors provide the estimated numbers of new cancer cases and deaths to be expected in 2018 in the United States nationally and for each state, as well as a comprehensive overview of cancer occurrence based on the most current population-based data for cancer incidence through 2014 and for mortality through 2015.

They also estimate the total number of deaths averted as a result of the continual decline in cancer death rates since the early 1990s and quantify the black-white disparity in cancer mortality by state and age based on the actual number of reported cancer deaths in 2015.

In 2018, 1,735,350 new cancer cases and 609,640 cancer deaths are projected to occur in the United States. Over the past decade of data, the cancer incidence rate (2005-2014) was stable in women and declined by approximately 2% annually in men, while the cancer death rate (2006-2015) declined by about 1.5% annually in both men and women. The combined cancer death rate dropped continuously from 1991 to 2015 by a total of 26%, translating to approximately 2,378,600 fewer cancer deaths than would have been expected if death rates had remained at their peak.

Much has been accomplished, but much remains to be done to further reduce: delays in detection, prevalence of key cancer health risks, lack of adoption of healthy lifestyle practices and eroding improvement in health literacy and health care literacy related to cancer detection, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

The types of issues addressed in this document include:

  • Estimated new cases of cancer and cancer deaths in 2018 by type, gender and state.
  • Trends in cancer incidence and death rates by gender.
  • Number of cancer deaths averted.
  • Ten top causes of death by age categories.
  • Survival rates by age and gender.
  • Cancer disparities by race and ethnicity.

Worksite Wellness professionals can use this information to:

  • Compare their own claims data patterns to state and national benchmarks.
  • Educate management and employees about the significant health consequences of cancer within their employee wellness programming.
  • Utilize this data to catalyze interest in preventive screening and biometric testing.
  • Formulate an informed approach to cancer detection and prevention within your employee wellness programming effort.

In summary, this 24 page summary article from the American Cancer Society is an excellent resource for use in employee wellness programming to educate and catalyze personal responsibility for health and wellness among employees in relation to cancer related risk, disease and utilization.

Citation: Rebecca L. Siegel, MPH, Kimberly D. Miller, MPH, Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PhD, Cancer Statistics, 2018, CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, Jan;68(1):7-30.

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