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

The work of scientists and cancer researchers has provided the healthcare community with continually evolving knowledge about cancer awareness, prevention, and treatment. However, so much still remains unknown and baffles medical professionals and researchers alike.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has proactively shared new information and trends with the general public. Through its Cancer Trends Progress Report, NCI provides descriptions of research and data to help review past experiences and assist the agency in planning for future research funding.

Some sections in the recent progress report include:

  • Prevention: examines the behaviors that affect cancer prevention, most notably tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure
  • Early detection: identifies screening tests that can find cancers early, leading to the best chance for a cure
  • Diagnosis: reviews the rates of new cancer incidence and those diagnosed at late stages
  • Treatment: describes common treatment options and measures the rates at which people are undergoing those treatments
  • Life after cancer: reviews trends in patients with cancer who are alive five years after their diagnosis. This section also examines the costs of cancer care and health behaviors among cancer survivors. 
  • End of life: examines mortality rates from cancer and the estimated number of years of life lost due to cancer diagnoses

NCI’s information is an amalgam of systems and surveys over different time periods. The information is useful to patients and providers, and it illustrates potential areas of funding for the agency to consider in the future.