The article linked below points to three important issues in cancer care in the U.S. in the coming years. First, I see the estimates of cancer survivors as being far too low. If there were 13.7 million cancer survivors in January of 2012 and this number is growing by about 1 million survivors annually (1.6 mm cancer diagnoses annually, 500,000 deaths annually) then the survivor population should grow by about 10 million in 10 years- to approx. 23.7 million.
Second, consider the idea of over-diagnosis in breast and prostate cancer. If breast and prostate cancers are over-diagosted as these studies maintain then what does this do to the 5 year survival rate as outlined in the second quote below?
Thirdly, if the cancer survivor population in the U.S. grows to over 23 million in the next 8-10 years, it will be critical for us survivors to think about lifestyle considerations such as nutrition, exercise and supplementation to manage our cancers and side effects.
Have you been diagnosed with cancer? Have you recently relapsed? Do you feel overwhelmed? Please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.
1) “…as of January 2012, there were approximately 13.7 million cancer survivors in the United States, a number that is expected to rise by 31 percent to 18 million by 2022.”
2) “Currently, women with breast cancer account for 22 percent of survivors, while men with prostate cancer make up 20 percent. People with lung cancer, the second most common cancer in terms of diagnosis, only represent 3 percent of survivors. “For patients with prostate cancer, we have a nearly 100 percent five-year survival rate, and breast cancer has made tremendous strides as well, with five-year survival rising from 75 percent in 1975 to almost 89 percent in 2012,”
3) “According to Rowland, the increase in the cancer survivor population will present new challenges for the health care community. Patients diagnosed with cancer will likely have comorbid conditions that need to be managed, and Rowland estimates 16 percent will have had a previous malignancy.
“How to ensure that these patients lead not only long lives, but healthy and productive lives, will be a vital challenge to all of us,” said Rowland.”