Cancer deaths have fallen dramatically in recent decades — but the number of new cancer cases will rise steeply in the coming years, according to a progress report released Wednesday by the American Association for Cancer Research.
Here’s a look at the highlights:
- Cancer deaths in the U.S. have fallen dramatically since 1991. The cancer death rate among children tumbled 35 percent between 1991 and 2014. The rate for adults fell 25 percent.
- Cigarette consumption is plunging. Cigarette use among adults fell nearly 39 percent between 2000 and 2015, which the report says has helped to drive down lung cancer rates. An estimated 15 percent of U.S. adults still smoke cigarettes.
- Cancer is expected to become more common. The number of new cancer cases is expected to jump from 1.7 million in 2017 to 2.3 million in 2030. Experts say that’s due in large part to the aging population. Other potential factors: high rates of obesity and physical inactivity, which have both been tied to some types of cancer.
- New cancer therapies are cropping up quickly. The Food and Drug Administration approved nine new cancer treatments between Aug. 1, 2016 and July 31, 2017. The agency also expanded approvals of eight drugs already on the market so they can be used to treat additional types of cancer.
- Cancer care takes a huge financial toll. In 2014, the direct medical costs of cancer care topped $87 billion in the U.S. alone.
The report calls on Congress to provide $36.2 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health in the next fiscal year, which starts next month. Lawmakers seem likely to come close — a bipartisan bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee would grant $36.1 billion in funding for the agency.
The bill defies President Trump’s request to cut the NIH budget down to $26.6 billion.