Cancer is currently the second leading cause of death in the United States, making it one of the country’s biggest health issues. In 2021, cancer accounted for almost 18 percent of all deaths in the U.S. while heart disease, the number one killer in the United States, was responsible for 20 percent of deaths. From birth to death a male born in the United States has a 41 percent chance of developing invasive cancer, while females are just slightly less likely to develop cancer in their lifetime with a probability of 39 percent. It is estimated that in the U.S. in 2023 there will be almost two million new cases of cancer and over 609 thousand cancer-related deaths.
Although cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States, deaths rates due to cancer have been decreasing steadily since the early 1990s. Despite prostate cancer and breast cancer being the most common forms of cancer among men and women, respectively, the deadliest type of cancer for both men and women is lung and bronchus cancer. In 2023, lung cancer was expected to cause around 67,160 deaths among men and another 59,910 deaths among women. It is estimated that a person diagnosed with lung and bronchus cancer has just a 23 percent chance of surviving the next five years following their diagnosis. In comparison, men diagnosed with prostate cancer have a 97 percent chance of surviving the next five years, while 91 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer survive five years after their diagnosis. The cancer type with the lowest five-year relative survival rate is pancreas cancer, with only 12 percent of diagnosed patients expected to survive the five years after diagnosis.
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