During the period from 2012 to 2022, the number of cancer survivors will grow from about 14 million to 18 million. This means that today, almost 5 percent of the American population are survivors of this disease after their diagnosis.
Among men, the leading cancer of survivors is prostate (43 percent of the total) while among women, the leading cancer is breast (41 percent of the total). Lung cancer is a particularly aggressive tumor type, and is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage, hence few lung cancer patients become survivors.
With the number of people surviving cancer – either because they are cured of it, or are living with metastatic cancer that is being treated – there is clearly a growing need for efforts to improve quality of life of cancer survivors after treatment.
The National Cancer Survivorship Resource Center (known as The Survivorship Center) was recently created in 2011 with support from the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over the next few decades, one of the big challenges in cancer care of this center and physicians who care for cancer patients will be to address the needs of those who survive for increasing periods of time after cancer treatment, although they may not actually be cured of the disease.
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