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Latest cancer challenge: More survivors

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 8, 2013

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There are about 13.7 million cancer survivors in the U.S., and that number is expected to rise 31% to 18 million people by 2022, says the American Assn. for Cancer Research.

That increase is due largely to improved cancer treatments and an aging population, the AACR said. The findings were published online March 27 in the association’s journal, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

The two largest groups of cancer survivors are women with breast cancer (22% survive) and men with prostate cancer (20%), the study said.

The growing cancer survivor population will present new challenges for the health care community, in part because they often have complex medical needs stemming from the effects of cancer treatment, the study said.

The report calls for more research to better understand and address the medical, psychosocial and practical needs of cancer survivors. The AACR also recommends that the medical industry optimize health IT to improve care coordination for cancer survivors (link).

For the report, researchers examined cancer incidence and survival data from 1975 to 2007 in the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program. They also reviewed population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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