By 2030, the United States’ population will increase to approximately 365 million, including 72
million older adults (age 65 years) and 157 million minority individuals. Although cancer
incidence varies by age and race, the impact of demographic changes on cancer incidence has not
been fully characterized. We sought to estimate the number of cancer patients diagnosed in the
United States through 2030 by age and race.
Current demographic-speciﬁc cancer incidence rates were calculated using the Surveillance
Epidemiology and End Results database. Population projections from the Census Bureau were
used to project future cancer incidence through 2030.
From 2010 to 2030, the total projected cancer incidence will increase by approximately 45%, from
1.6 million in 2010 to 2.3 million in 2030. This increase is driven by cancer diagnosed in older adults
and minorities. A 67% increase in cancer incidence is anticipated for older adults, compared with
an 11% increase for younger adults. A 99% increase is anticipated for minorities, compared with
a 31% increase for whites. From 2010 to 2030, the percentage of all cancers diagnosed in older
adults will increase from 61% to 70%, and the percentage of all cancers diagnosed in minorities
will increase from 21% to 28%.
Demographic changes in the United States will result in a marked increase in the number of cancer
diagnoses over the next 20 years. Continued efforts are needed to improve cancer care for older
adults and minorities.
J Clin Oncol 27. © 2009 by American Society of Clinical Oncology
Future of Cancer Incidence in the United States: Burdens Upon an Aging, Changing Nation — Smith et al., 10.1200/JCO.2008.20.8983 — Journal of Clinical Oncology
I am a prostate cancer survivor, Class of 2003, retired Army officer, business owner, Senior Fellow at the Center for the Digital Future, Annenberg School, USC, USA Cycling coach, amateur competitive cyclist, Harley Davidson enthusiast, and writer.
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