American Association for Cancer Research 7
Figure 3: Aging Baby Boomers Predicted to Drive up Cancer Incidence. The majority of all cancer diagnoses are made in those aged 65 and
older (blue line) ( 1, 4). In 2010, individuals in this age group made up 13 percent of the U.S. population ( 6). In 2030, when the baby boomers will be
aged 65 or older, this segment will be nearly 20 percent of the population ( 6). This change will dramatically increase the total numbers of cancers
diagnosed each year, with a 67 percent increase in cancer incidence anticipated for the segment of the population aged 65 or over (bars) (7).
Cancer: An Expensive Disease.
Biomedical Research: A Wise
Of all major causes of disease worldwide, cancer has the
greatest economic burden from premature death and disability.
The global economic toll is 20 percent higher than that from
any other major disease, at $895 billion in 2008 ( 13). This
figure does not include the direct costs of treating cancer. In
the United States, the latest estimates from the NIH indicate
that the overall economic costs of cancer in 2008 were $201.5
billion: $77.4 billion for direct medical costs and $124.0 billion
for lost productivity due to premature death ( 1).
Given that cancer is the most costly disease to our nation, and
it is poised to become the number one killer of Americans, it
is urgent that we increase our investments in the scientific
research needed to develop more effective interventions. This
report highlights many of the remarkable recent advances that
are the direct result of the dedicated work of thousands of
researchers funded through the federal government and other
sectors of the biomedical research enterprise. There is little
doubt that the ability of these researchers to continue making
lifesaving progress is in significant jeopardy given that NIH and
NCI budgets are decreasing (see Funding Cancer Research
and Biomedical Science Drives Progress, p. 69).