The American Cancer Society has just published in the January/February 2023 issue of CA: A Clinical Journal for Physicians its latest estimate of the numbers of new cancer cases and deaths projected in the United States. Annually they compile the most recent data on population-based cancer occurrence and outcomes using incidence data collected by central cancer registries, and mortality data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics. In 2023, they forecast 1,958,310 new cancer cases and 609,820 cancer deaths to occur in the U.S.
The greatest number of deaths expected are from cancers of the lung, prostate, and colorectum in men, and cancers of the lung, breast, and colorectum in women. Approximately 350 people die each day from lung cancer—nearly 2.5 times more than the number of people who die from colorectal cancer.
Cancer mortality in the US has decreased continuously since 1991, resulting in an overall drop of 33%, or approximately 3.8 million cancer deaths averted. This steady progress, the authors indicate, is because of reductions in smoking; an increase in the number of screening studies for breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers; and overall improvements in cancer treatments. Despite the gains, future progress may be thwarted by a rising incidence for breast, prostate, and uterine corpus cancers. The report notes that racial disparities and geographical variations in cancer mortality need to be addressed.
The authors advocate for expansion of access to care and increased investment in cancer control interventions and for research to advance treatment options. I believe much emphasis needs to be made to increase cancer screening studies, especially of low-dose CT lung cancer screening studies.
Importantly, focus must be placed on the development of successful interventions to reduce inequalities, which would help mitigate racial and geographic disparities. Attention must be paid to promoting health equity and furthering our country's progress in combating cancer mortality among all populations.