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M. D. Anderson study predicts dramatic growth in cancer rates among US elderly, minorities
Date:4/29/2009

HOUSTON - Over the next 20 years, the number of new cancer cases diagnosed annually in the United States will increase by 45 percent, from 1.6 million in 2010 to 2.3 million in 2030, with a dramatic spike in incidence predicted in the elderly and minority populations, according to research from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The study, published online today in Journal of Clinical Oncology, is the first to determine such specific long-term cancer incidence projections. It predicts a 67 percent increase in the number of adults age-65-or-older diagnosed with cancer, from 1 million in 2010 to 1.6 million in 2030. In non-white individuals over the same 20-year span, the incidence is expected to increase by 100 percent, from 330,000 to 660,000.

According to Ben Smith, M.D., adjunct assistant professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Radiation Oncology, the study underscores cancer's growing stress on the U.S. health care system.

"In 2030, 70 percent of all cancers will be diagnosed in the elderly and 28 percent in minorities, and the number of older adults diagnosed with cancer will be the same as the total number of Americans diagnosed with cancer in 2010," said Smith, the study's senior author. "Also alarming is that a number of the types of cancers that are expected to increase, such as liver, stomach and pancreas, still have tremendously high mortality rates."

Unless specific prevention and/or treatment strategies are discovered, cancer death rates also will increase dramatically, said Smith, who is currently on active military duty and is stationed at Lackland Air Force Base.

To conduct their research, Smith and his team accessed the United States Census Bureau statistics, updated in 2008 to project population growth through 2050, and the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registry, the premier population-based cancer registry representing 26
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Contact: Laura Sussman
lsussman@mdanderson.org
713-745-2457
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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