Leukemia In The Young – Incidence And Survival Statistics

Leukemia is the most common form of childhood cancer. In the United States, leukemia affects around 3,500 children aged 0-14 each year which represents around 40% of all childhood cancers. In young adults, leukemia rates are somewhat lower but the disease is still one of the 5 most common forms of cancer in the 15-39 age group.

Childhood leukemia rates in the USA have been increasing steadily by around 1% a year for the past half century. The reasons for this increase have not been established although some research has suggested increased exposure to electro-magnetic fields may explain at least part of the rise.


Early Onset Lung Cancer – Prevalence, Causes, And Survival

We normally think of lung cancer as an affliction of elderly smokers however this isn’t always the case. The following article provides a brief overview of the prevalence, causes, and survival statistics for lung cancer in younger people.


Lung cancer before the age of 50 is relatively rare in the United States however more than 12,000 cases still occur annually, a rate of 4.2 per 100,000 individuals per year. A smoker has around a 1% chance of developing lung cancer before the age of 50 while a non-smoker’s chances are less than 1 in 1,000.


Infections Cause 16% Of Cancers Worldwide

Almost 1 in 6 cases of cancer is caused by an infectious agent according to a new study published online in The Lancet this month. The study also found that the burden of infection-related cancers was higher in the developing world, in women, and in younger individuals.

Researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Lyon, France, analysed country specific cancer incidence data, to determine the proportion of cancers in each country that were attributable to infections.


Meat And Cancer – Country Comparisons

A chunk of meatMost scientists agree that a high intake of meat, particularly red meat, increases an individuals risk of developing certain forms of cancer however there is uncertainty over the extent of the link between the two. Comparing cancer rates and meat consumption across different countries provides some interesting insight on the link between meat consumption and cancer. The table below shows the ten countries with the highest and lowest levels of meat consumption per capita.


Which Countries Have The Highest Breast Cancer Rates?

Around the world, more than 1.38 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 with more than 458,000 women dying from the disease.

There is considerable variation in breast cancer rates between countries. Belgium and Denmark have the highest rates of breast cancer in the world with age standardized rates of 109.2 and 101.1 cases per 100,000 adult women per year respectively. A Belgian women has around a 1 in 7 chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime. Bhutan and Mongolia have the lowest rates with just 8 cases per 100,000 women per year (although rates in these countries are almost certainly under-reported due to poor health systems).


Lung Cancer Rate In UK Women Continues To Rise Despite Falling Smoking Prevalence

The number of cases of lung cancer among women in the UK continues to rise steadily despite dramatic falls in smoking prevalence during the last half of the 20th century according to new data from Cancer Research UK.

In 2009, Cancer Research UK reports that 23,041 new lung cancer cases were diagnosed in men and 18,387 cases in women. This makes lung cancer the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women, behind prostate and breast cancer respectively.


Gap In Mortality Rates Between Smokers And Non Smokers Continues To Widen

Several recent studies have looked at trends in the mortality differences between smokers and non-smokers. The studies have all produced remarkably similar conclusions – the excess mortality associated with cigarette smoking continues to increase resulting in a growing life expectancy difference between non-smokers and smokers. This is damning for the cigarette industry who have long claimed that increased usage of filtered cigarettes and low tar or “mild” formulations has resulted in a safer product. This simply doesn’t appear to be the case, and if anything, cigarette smokers are at a higher risk of dying from lung cancer, heart disease, and other smoking related illnesses than ever before.


The Ethnic Gap In Cancer Survival

While cancer survival rates in the USA have increased significantly over recent decades, African Americans continue to lag behind whites. In 2003, overall 5-year cancer survival rates were 68% for whites and 59% for African Americans. For most cancer sites African Americans have the lowest survival rates of all ethnic groups.

The death rate for all cancers combined is around 30% higher in African American men and 15% higher in African American women compared to their white counterparts. For prostate cancer, death rates are a massive 145% higher in African American men compared to white men.


45% Of Male Cancers, 40% Female Cancers Preventable According To Study

While we all know that a significant proportion of cancers are preventable, a recent British study has attempted to quantify the precise percentage of cancers that could be prevented through lifestyle and environmental changes. The authors found that a massive 45% of male cancers and 40% of female cancers could be prevented through simple behavioural changes.

The research, which was led by Professor Max Parkin of the Centre for Cancer Prevention at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, involved the identification of 14 factors that are known to be related to cancer risk.


Child Cancer Rates Have Increased 34% Since 1975

Despite a fall in overall cancer rates over the last decade or so, child cancer rates have continued to increase steadily and are now up 34% since 1975 recent data from SEER shows. Overall age adjusted cancer rates have been falling since the late 1990s and are now 10% below their peak. Child cancer rates on the other hand have increase steadily by around 1% per year and show no sign of peaking.

Fortunately, most childhood cancers are easily treatable with a 5-year survival rate of 83.9% for cancers diagnosed in those under 20 compared to 66.7% for the general population.


CDC Releases Data On Smoking Rates By Occupation

CigarettesThe latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released by the CDC contained some interesting data on the prevalence of smoking across different occupational groups.

The prevalence estimates were based on data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) 2004-2010 which involved a combined 113,226 participants. Researchers found huge differences in smoking rates across various occupational groups with rates as high as 31.4% and as low as 8.7%.


What Are A Smokers Chances Of Dying From Lung Cancer?

Many smokers want to know their probability of dying from lung cancer in a given time frame, however calculating precise risks can be difficult because there are a variety of factors that influence lung cancer probabilities.

The most important factors influencing lung cancer risk are age, number of years of smoking, average number of cigarettes smoked per day, number of years since smoking ceased (if the individual is a former smoker), and a history of asbestos exposure (working in a high risk occupation for at least 5 years).


5-Year Cancer Survival Rates Are Increasing

A quick look at the latest figures from SEER, the statistical database provided by the National Cancer Institute, shows that survival rates for most forms of cancer have increased dramatically over the past 30 years or so. Overall, 5 year cancer survival rates have increased from 48.9% in 1975 to 66.7% in 2003. The following graph shows 5-year survival rates for some of the most common forms of cancer.


Cancer Rates In The USA Compared To Japan

Cancer rates vary dramatically between countries, none more so than between Japan and the USA. Overall age adjusted cancer rates in the USA are more than 50% higher than in Japan.

Americans have a 30% chance of developing cancer and a 11.2% chance of dying from it by the age of 75 compared to a 20.4% chance of developing cancer and a 9.7% chance of dying from it in Japan. The only common forms of cancer that are more prevalent in Japan are pancreatic, liver, colorectal, and stomach cancer. Interestingly enough, Japan has one of the lowest cancer rates in the developed world despite a relatively high percentage of Japanese being regular smokers.

The disparities in cancer rates are one of the major reasons life expectancy is almost five years higher in Japan than the United States (82.9 vs 78.1).

The following table shows age adjusted cancer rates per 100,000 people for both the United States and Japan courtesy of data from GLOBOCAN, 2008. Rates are for men and women combined with the exception of breast and prostate cancer which are female and male only rates respectively.


Which Country Has The Highest Rate Of Lung Cancer?

A cigaretteCurrently Hungary has the dubious honour of having the highest age standardised rate (ASR) of lung cancer in the world for men and the highest rate overall. At more than 50 cases per 100,000 people per year, Hungary’s lung cancer rate is more than twice the global average. The United States has the highest rate of lung cancer among women and the second highest rate overall. The following table shows the fifteen countries with the highest rates of lung cancer in the world (excludes countries with less than 1 million people).


Cancer Death Rates For Smokers Compared To Non-Smokers

CigarettesMany smokers want to know exactly how much higher their risk of dying from various forms of cancer is compared to non-smokers. Unfortunately the answer is a lot higher, more than 10 times higher for cancers such as lung, larynx, and mouth cancers.

Interestingly some forms of cancer that one wouldn’t normally associate with smoking such as pancreatic cancer, cervical cancer, and acute myeloid leukemia are also more likely in smokers.