Alec Stone
Alec Stone MA, MPA, ONS Public Affairs Director

Breakthroughs and advancements in research and management have significantly changed the ways we understand how cancer works and how best to treat it. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its Annual Report to the Nation on the State of Cancer. With the report, the CDC aims to inform the medical community and the general public about trends in cancer statistics and areas for development, as well shed light on underreported and underserved cancer populations.

According to the CDC’s numbers, mortality rates are decreasing “for 11 of the 16 most common types of cancer in men and 13 of the 18 most common types in women” and “death rates declined overall and for the most common cancers (lung, prostate, colorectal, breast) among men and women of all racial and ethnic groups.” Although rates are decreasing among some cancer types, the CDC noted that others still require more work in the areas of prevention, early detection, and treatment. Moreover, the authors reminded readers that despite the decreasing numbers associated with certain cancers, we still need “intensified efforts to discover new strategies for prevention, early detection, and treatment and to apply proven prevention measures broadly and equitably.”

This year’s report also included a special feature on survival. According to the CDC, five-year survival rates for cancers diagnosed from 2006–2012 showed great improvement over cancers diagnosed from 1975–1977. The biggest improvement was in related to prostate cancer, which showed a 25% increase in survival rates.