Cancer - Statistics & Facts

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, making it one of modern medicine’s greatest challenges. The percentage of the U.S. population who has or ever had cancer has increased over the past 14 years. Furthermore, men have a higher chance of developing cancer than women. For 2017, it was estimated there will be around 1.69 million new cases of cancer and some 600,000 deaths attributable to cancer in the United States.


Breast and the prostate are the most prevalent forms of cancer amongst women and men respectively. From an ethnic point of view, African-American men are the group with the highest incidence rate of cancer in the United States. Kentucky and Delaware are the U.S. states where the rate of cancer is the highest. New Mexico and Arizona on the other hand have the lowest number of new cancer cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

While incidence rates are increasing, cancer death rates have constantly fallen since 1990. Men have a higher risk of mortality from cancer than women. African-Americans are the ethnic group with the highest number of cancer-related deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. Lung and bronchial cancer cause the highest number of cancer-related deaths. Approximately 70,500 women and 85,700 men die from this type of cancer annually. The chance of surviving for a five-year period upon diagnosis has increased from 49 percent in the 1970s to 69 percent nowadays.

The cancer drug market is among the top pharmaceutical therapeutic areas both in the United States, and worldwide. Expenditure on oncological medicine in the U.S. was worth some 39 billion U.S. dollars in 2015. The top cancer drug worldwidee is Roche’s Rituxan, generating 7.1 billion U.S. dollars of revenue in 2015. The United States is a top global developer of new cancer drugs. As of autumn 2015, the number of cancer medicines in development was 836. Among them, the largest groups were aimed at treating solid tumors, lung cancer, and leukemia.

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Cancer Infographic - UK cancer spending doesn't correlate with deaths

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