Overall cancer incidence rates continue to fall for men and remain stable for women, according to the Cancer Statistics, 2018, report published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians

During the past decade, overall cancer incidence declined about 2% per year for men, particularly for lung, colorectal, and prostate cancers, which are the leading causes of cancer-related death in men. The researchers noted that lung cancer rates in men are falling twice as fast as for women and attribute it to the fact that in history, men started smoking earlier than women but today more men are quitting smoking.

Colorectal cancer rates are about the same for men and women but continue to decline about 2%–3% per year in both genders. The authors suggest the decline reflects older adults’ increased use of colonoscopy screening.

Overall cancer incidence rates in women have remained steady. The researchers noted that although lung and colorectal incidence rates have declined in women, rates of breast, uterine, and thyroid cancers and melanoma have either increased or remained stable, offsetting the effect. 

In 2018, estimates suggest that 1,735,350 new cancers will be diagnosed, which translates to about 4,700 per day. Of those in men, 42% will be prostate, lung, or colorectal cancer, and of those in women, 50% will be breast, lung, or colorectal cancer. Breast cancer alone accounts for 30% of female cancer diagnoses.

Finally, the authors called out that liver cancer incidence rates are increasing in people younger than 40 years as well as those older than 60 years. People aged 60–69 saw an 8% increase per year between 2010 and 2014, and those aged 70 or older saw a 3% increase per year. The researchers attributed it to increased incidence of hepatitis C infection, particularly in those aged 20–39 years, as a result of the opioid epidemic.