A Growing Challenge
The public health challenge posed by cancer is predicted
to grow considerably in the coming decades unless we
develop and effectively implement more effective strategies
for cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment ( 7).
In the United States alone, the number of new cancer cases
diagnosed each year is expected to almost double by 2030,
when it is anticipated that it will reach 2. 3 million ( 2, 7).
This is largely because cancer is primarily a disease of
aging, 53 percent of U.S. cancer diagnoses occur among
those age 65 and older ( 16), and this segment of the U.S.
population is expected to grow from 49. 2 million in 2016
to 74. 1 million in 2030 ( 17, 18). Also contributing to the
projected increase in the number of U.S. cancer cases are
continued use of cigarettes by 15 percent of U.S. adults ( 19)
and high rates of obesity and physical inactivity, which
are both linked to some common types of cancer ( 20).
The United States is not unique in this regard (see sidebar
on Cancer: A Global Challenge). Thus, it is imperative that
the global biomedical research community work together
to drive down cancer incidence and mortality.
In 2005, cancer accounted for 7. 5 million of the 53. 6 million
deaths worldwide, meaning it accounted for
1 in 7 deaths.
In 2015, cancer accounted for 8. 8 million of the 55. 8 million
deaths worldwide, meaning it accounted for almost
1 in 6 deaths.
Cancer: A Global Challenge
The number of global deaths from cancer is rising, as is the proportion of deaths that cancer accounts for ( 6).
The devastating impact of cancer will grow significantly in the coming decades if new and more effective approaches
to cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment are not developed and effectively implemented ( 6, 7).
MILLION 14. 6 MILLION