2021 Cancer Statistics: Lung Cancer Mortality Decline Linked to Smoking Reduction and Improved Treatments
- The American Cancer Society estimates the number of new cancer cases and deaths in the United States every year.
- Incidence data through 2017 and mortality data through 2018 were collected.
- Projected 2021 new cancer cases: 1,898,160 (United States)
- Projected 2021 cancer deaths: 608,570 (United States)
- Cancer death rate peak year: 1991
- Cancer death rate trend between 1991 and 2018: declining
- Total decline: 31 percent
- Possible cause: Reduction in smoking and improvements in early detection and treatment
- The data translates to 3.2 million fewer cancer deaths than would have occurred if peak rates had persisted.
- Prostate cancer halted long-term declines in mortality.
- Breast and colorectal cancers slowed long-term declines in mortality.
- Lung cancer accelerated long-term declines in mortality.
- Lung cancer accounted for almost 50 percent of the total mortality decline between 2014 and 2018.
- Decline in lung cancer mortality (2009-2013): 3.1 percent
- Decline in lung cancer mortality (2014-2018): 5.5 percent
- Rapid gains in survival specifically for non-small cell lung cancer were observed.
- Non-small cell lung cancer survival (2009-2010): 34 percent
- Non-small cell lung cancer survival (2015-2016): 42 percent
- Non-small cell lung cancer survival includes absolute increases of 5% to 6% for every stage of diagnosis.
- Survival for small cell lung cancer remained at 14% to 15%.
- Improved treatment accelerated progress against lung cancer.
- A record drop in overall cancer mortality was reported, despite slowing momentum for other common cancers.
Siegel, R. L., Miller, K. D., Fuchs, H. E., & Jemal, A. (2021). Cancer Statistics, 2021. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians, 71(1), 7–33. https://doi.org/10.3322/caac.21654
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