Cancer Survivor Numbers Triple in the Past 30 Years

According the the Centers for Disease Control, the number of cancer survivors in the U.S. has nearly quadrupled in the past 30 years, from 3 million to 11.7 million, the Los Angeles Times reported. The CDC credits earlier detection, improved diagnostic methods, more effective treatment, improved clinical follow-up after treatment and an aging U.S. population for the increase in survivors.

The most common cancer types among survivors were breast, prostate and colorectal cancers.  Female survivors outnumbered male by about 10 percent (54.3% female survivors, 45.7% male).  The CDC said women are more likely to be survivors because two cancers that commonly affect them, breast and cervical, usually occur in younger women and can be detected early and treated successfully. As of January 2007, nearly 2.6 million women were breast cancer survivors, and 2.3 men were prostate cancer survivors.  There were also 1.1 million survivors of colorectal cancer and nearly 800,000 survivors of kidney and renal pelvis cancers.

The data comes from nine Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results programs, which have monitored about 10 percent of the U.S. population since 1975. Click here to read more from the LA Times.