The American Cancer Society estimates the population of cancer survivors will increase to nearly 18 million by 2022. An additional 8.8 million males and 9.2 million females will survive the disease, the ACS reported in its Cancer Treatment & Survivorship Facts & Figures 2012-2013 report released on June 14.
The growth, up from 13.7 million in 2012, is owed in part to an aging population (cancer incidence increases with age), and in part to better cancer treatments.
The ACS elaborated on the demographic of cancer survivors, noting nearly half are over the age of 70.
"The majority of cancer survivors (64 percent) were diagnosed 5 or more years ago, and 15% were diagnosed 20 or more years ago. Almost half (45 percent) of cancer survivors are 70 years of age or older, while only 5 percent are younger than 40 years."
Elizabeth R. Ward, senior author of the report, said increases in survival rates mean new challenges for healthcare providers.
"Many survivors, even among those who are cancer free, must cope with the long-term effects of treatment, as well as psychological concerns such as fear of recurrence. As more people survive cancer, it is vital that health care providers are aware of the special needs of cancer patients and caregivers."
by RTT Staff Writer
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