New cancer diagnoses in the United States are expected to top two million in 2024 due, in part, by an alarming increase in cancers among younger Americans, according to the American Cancer Society. Additionally, younger patients (those under 50) are more likely to be uninsured and face a higher lifetime risk of treatment-related side effects like second cancers.
The proportion of people 65 and older diagnosed with cancer dropped from 61 percent to 58 percent in the last 30 years, even as the size of that group increased. The proportion of those diagnosed between ages 50-64 was largely stable.
Cancer death rates in the U.S. have been cut by a third in the last 30 years, partly due to improved screening, a sharp drop in smoking, and more effective treatments against certain cancers. However, cases of breast, pancreas and uterine cancers increased between .6 percent and 1 percent annually from 2015 to 2019.
This American Cancer Society study highlights the importance of timely screening, particularly among people with a strong family history of cancer or who are experiencing symptoms.