2018 Annual Report of American Cancer was officially released on January 6. With such a long report, where should we start to read? Here we help you list 8 must-read findings in this report.
1. Cancer incidence: basically stable!
It is estimated that there will be 1.74 million new cancer patients in 2018 in the United States, an additional 40,000 more than in 2017, with a slight decrease in men and a slight increase in women.
The probability of being diagnosed with cancer over the lifetime is 39.7% for males and 37.6% for females.
Top 3 cancers in men are prostate cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancer and the good news is incidence of these three major cancers is declining significantly.
For women, the most common cancers are breast, lung and colorectal cancer. Except for a slight increase in breast cancer, the number of women with lung cancer and colorectal cancer is also declining.
Calculated in accordance with this ratio, the probability of that there is at least one cancer patient in a generation 3 is more than 95%. In the future, cancer patient will exit in almost every family.
2. Cancer mortality: continuous decline!
This year’s annual report releases a piece of bad news: cancer remains the second-biggest killer in the United States only after cardiovascular disease.
And it even comes as the No. 1 killer in the population aged from 60 to 80.
The good news is that cancer mortality in U.S. has dropped again! This has fallen for more than 20 years since 1991, with an average annual decrease of 1.5% and an overall reduction of 26%, saving lives of 2.4 million people!
During this period, mortality of all four major cancers in the United States experienced a sharp decline, including lung cancer with a 45% reduction in men, breast cancer with a 39% reduction, prostate cancer with a 52% reduction, and colorectal cancer with a 52% reduction.
As for the prostate cancer and breast cancer, featuring the highest incidence in both male and female, their overall survival rates are high. 5-year survival rate in breast cancer is up to 90% and the number in prostate cancer is more than 98%!
Cancer, is no longer synonymous with death penalty, and more and more cancers can be taken as chronic diseases.
3. Tobacco control: brings victory over lung cancer!
A cure for cancer must be three-pronged approach: prevention comes first and screening ranks best. The treatment is the worst.
Controlling tobacco works most effectively in the prevention of cancer. 30% of cancer deaths, including 90% of lung cancer deaths, are related to smoking. If the world is smoke-free, lung cancer will turn from first killer to rare cancer.
45% of men and 19% of women have died from lung cancer since 1990 in the United States, which is simply due to an effective tobacco control. Owing to the
tobacco control policy promoted from1960s, smoking rate of adults has dropped continuously for more than 50 years from 42.4% to 16.8%!
So make friends with those who do not smoke in front of you!
4. Colorectal Cancer: screening victory!
The mortality of colorectal cancer in the United States has been continuously decreasing for more than 20 years. The best helper is the popularity of screening, especially colonoscopy!
Screening can effectively detect polyps and early tumors. Early detection, makes early cure, which significantly reduce the incidence of advanced colorectal cancer and mortality.
The United States currently recommends the colonoscopy screening to people aged 50 to 75-year-old. For those with a family history of colorectal cancer, the screening should be conducted in advance, such as 40 years old.
Over the past decade or so, with the change in public education and health insurance policies, the proportion of adults over 50 in the United States has tripled, from 21% in 2000 to 60% in 2015.
5. Leukemia and Lymphoma: new therapy hits!
From the quantity and effectiveness of new drugs listed, patients with leukemia and lymphoma are undoubtedly the most benefited groups in the past 20 years. Particularly in recent years, many revolutionary drugs have been developed.
There are novel targeted drugs such as BTK inhibitors and BCL2 inhibitors for the treatment of chronic leukemia, as well as immunosuppressive drugs such as PD1 inhibitors for Hodgkin lymphoma and immune cell therapies such as CAR- T for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
All the drugs bring huge breakthroughs in their targeted cancer subtypes, dramatically improving quality of life, survival rates, and even cure rates.
6. Cervical cancer: can be prevented!
Overall, cervical cancer is a relatively rare cancer in the United States, with more than 10,000 newly diagnosed patients each year, ranking behind the top 20.
But it has attracted the attention in terms of the following three aspects:
- It affects young people!
It is one of the few cancer types that predominate in adolescence, with about 40% of patients under 44 years of age. Also, it is one of the most deadly cancer types among 20 to 39 year-old women, second only to breast cancer.
- It has preventive vaccines!
Cervical cancer, almost 100%, is caused by HPV infection and can be effectively prevented by the vaccine. At present, the preventive vaccines only include HPV vaccine and hepatitis B vaccine to prevent liver cancer.
- It can be found by screening!
Cervical smear is the most commonly used screening method. Even without vaccination, early diagnosis is possible, giving you early cure.
The recent controversy over the efficacy of HPV vaccine and screening actually is simple to answer: both are effective and important! Among all the cancers, only cervical cancer can have both effective vaccines and screening. We should take good advantage of the double insurance
7. Outstanding Asians: enjoys the lowest incidence!
The incidence and mortality of cancer in different ethnic groups in the United States vary differently. Asians have the lowest incidence in both man and woman, followed by the white and then the black. Overall, blacks have a 85% higher cancer incidence than Asians!
In addition, acquired factors play a significant role in cancer: cancer mortality in blacks who immigrate to the United States after growing up are 40% less than native blacks! These two groups show few differences in genes and differences mainly comes from the acquired habits. Indeed, the migrant blacks live much healthier, with a lower smoking rate and lower obesity rate.
Data from Japanese also support the view that “the acquired factor is the main cause of cancer.” As we all know, Japan is a country with the longest lifespan and the lowest incidence of cancer among all developed countries.
However, you may find it interesting that Japanese who grew up in Hawaii got the chance and type of cancer closer to white Americans! All these data demonstrate that although genes affect the probability of cancer, external factors, especially lifestyle, are crucial.
8. Shorty: means low probability of cancer!
For a long time, men have a higher probability of cancer than women. why?
Reasons are complex, but it is estimated that the overall height of males accounts for over 30% in all possible reasons! A large number of statistics show that, both men and women, grow taller, and the probability of cancer is greater. A large Swedish study found that every 10 cm of adult height means an 11% to 18% increase in the incidence of cancer.
Scientists made a hypothesis in a biological way. They think height is not a problem, but high growth hormone level in a tall adult matters. Growth hormone can stimulate cell division and growth, naturally, which is closely related to cancer.
The most interesting evidence comes from South America: a special group of people live in remote mountain villages in southern Ecuador, all of whom have dwarfism, a rare disease caused by mutations in the growth hormone receptor gene. They are quite small, with an average height of only 1.2m.
Unexpectedly, scientists tracked this group of people for a long time and found that although they were small, they aged slowly, with almost no cancer and diabetes. Sometimes, slow growing gives rise to many benefits.