139th National Cancer Advisory Board
disparities and related surveillance data to local cancer clusters and trends. The Annual Cancer Statistics Report is intended for the research community.
Dr. Brenda K. Edwards, Associate Director, Surveillance Research Program, DCCPS, works with surveillance, descriptive epidemiology, and interpreting statistics, as well as statistical modeling and methodologic developmental work in relation to the CISNET network. She announced that the report was released electronically in Cancer yesterday, and summarized its main point as cancer death rates continue to drop. The report focused on the Latino population, and acknowledged that a number of cancers have much lower prevalence rates within the Latino population. When diagnosed, however, many cancers are at later stages. Progress has been made in the availability of cancer incidence data for use in the surveillance research and public health communities. Dr. Edwards displayed maps of the United States that showed improvements from 1975 through 2003 in coverage for population-based cancer incidence. Notably, in 2003 cancer incidence data were available for more than 80 percent of the U.S. population.
The ACS published a report that estimated the U.S. cancer burden in 2006. It projects that more than 1.4 million people will be diagnosed with cancer, with more than one-half of the diagnoses occurring in cancers of the prostate, breast, lung, and colon/rectum. More than one-half million deaths from cancer are expected to occur, with the greatest number in these same sites. There are more cancer deaths for pancreatic cancer, however, than for prostate.
Dr. Edwards described trends in cancer incidence and mortality in general, and then honed in regarding trends of breast (female), prostate, lung, colon and rectum, and thyroid cancers. For women, all sites have continued to rise at a small but positive rate. Cancer incidence in the prostate, lung (female), kidney and renal, leukemia, melanoma, thyroid, and myeloma is increasing. Incidence is decreasing, however, for lung (male), colon and rectum, oral cavity and pharynx, stomach, uterine corpus, ovary, and cervix. Rates for breast (female), pancreas, and all other sites for males have remained at a stable level. In mortality trends, lung (female), esophagus (male), and liver cancers have increased. Mortality trends in a number of cancer sites have decreased, however, including: lung (male), colon and rectum, breast (female), pancreas (male), prostate, leukemia, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). Cancers of the ovary, pancreas (female), kidney and renal (male), and melanoma (male) have remained level in their mortality trends.
Regarding female breast cancer, the incidence rates are much higher in white women than in black women. In other racial ethnic groups, Asian Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, and the American Indian populations also have lower incidence rates. In mortality trends, on the other hand, the death rates for black women are higher than for white women. The death rates for other racial ethnic groups for breast cancer are below the rate for white women. The reported statistics include a recent stabilization (nonsignificant 4 % per year downturn) in breast cancer incidence trends for women for 2001-2003, adjusted for a delay in the data entering the cancer databases. Factors considered as possible explanations for the stabilization in breast cancer incidence rates include the impact of the reduction in hormone therapy post WHI trial results, as well as a leveling off of screening with mammography.
In prostate cancer, the incidence rates are much higher in black men than they are in white men. The rate for white men is increasing.
Lung cancer trends are separated by gender; rates of incidence and mortality mostly move in parallel. The incidence rate for men is substantially higher than for women, albeit it is decreasing. Continued increases in lung cancer incidence and death rates are being seen for women.