American Association for Cancer Research: Cancer Progress Report 2017

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) recently published their annual Cancer Progress Report to Congress and the American public on the progress that has been made in cancer research in the past year. The report covers what has been learned about how cancers develop, ways to prevent and treat cancers, and suggestions to further increase progress in cancer research. You can read the full report here.

Findings from the AACR 2017 Cancer Progress Report:

  • There has been a 25 percent reduction in U.S. cancer death rate, which amounts to about 2.1 million lives saved, between 1991 and 2014
  • From 2010 to 2014, overall cancer death rates fell by:
    • 1.4 percent per year for women 
    • 1.4 percent per year for men
    • 1.6 percent per year for children ages 0 to 14
  • About 20 percent of U.S. cancer diagnoses are related to people being overweight or obese, being physically inactive, and/or consuming a poor diet.
  • The number of U.S. cancer cases is anticipated to almost double, reaching 2.3 million, by 2030.
  • Patients with cancer who have Medicaid coverage or no insurance are more than 40 percent more likely to die from their disease than those who have non-Medicaid insurance.
  • Most U.S. adolescents have not received the full HPV vaccine course, though the number of U.S. cancer cases attributable to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is rising.
    • In fact, between 2008 and 2012, more than 38,000 HPV-associated cancers were diagnosed each year.
  • Tobacco use is responsible for the deaths of more than 7 million people a year.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human services recommends minimum physical activity levels to improve health, such as:
    • Sixty minutes or more of physical activity such as running daily for children and adolescents
    • At least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity such as a brisk walk or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity activity such as running.
    • Cancer survivors should consult their physicians and follow modified guidelines adapted for their specific cancers and treatments.
  • Fewer than 15 percent of men and 30 percent of women use sunscreen regularly on their faces and exposed skin, despite the knowledge that the three main types of skin cancer can be prevented.
  • Many factors have been identified that can increase an individual's risk for developing cancer, the highest ones being tobacco use, being obese/overweight, and pathogens.
  • Cancer screening has produced several benefits, including the reduction of cancer incidences, the reduction in the incidence of advanced disease, and the reduction of cancer mortality.
  • Some cancer screening disparities are:
    • Women who are privately insured are more than twice as likely to be up to date on breast cancer screening than women who are not insured.
    • Women not born in the U.S. are twice as likely to have never had a mammogram than women born in the U.S.
  • When it comes to clinical trials, there are often many complex, interwoven factors that contribute to disparities in participation, including:
    • Health insurance status;
    • Eligibility criteria;
    • Cultural beliefs;
    • Social and economic status;
    • Site at which cancer care is received;
    • And health literacy
  • Despite these statistics, more than 380,000 survivors of cancer diagnosed in childhood and adolescence are still alive in the U.S.

The AACR is the oldest and largest professional scientific organization in the world focused on every aspect of high-quality, innovative cancer research. AACR membership includes more than 35,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; population scientists; and cancer advocates residing in 97 countries. Through its programs and services, the AACR fosters research in cancer and related biomedical science; accelerates the dissemination of new research findings among scientists and others dedicated to the conquest of cancer; promotes science education and training; and advances the understanding of cancer etiology, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment throughout the world. The AACR is a national non-profit organization.