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Cancer Facts and Figures garners extensive media coverage

The American Cancer Society released our highly anticipated 2024 Cancer Facts and Figures on Wednesday, January 17. Within minutes of its release, the report garnered news coverage from various media outlets, including USA Today, CNN, NBC News, New York Times, and CBS News.

Dr. Bill Dahut, ACS chief scientific officer, also appeared on Good Morning America in an exclusive interview with GMA anchor Robin Roberts to discuss the report's findings. You can watch his segment on the ABC News website.

Check out some of the other highlights of our Cancer Facts and Figures media coverage: 

  • BrightEdge introduces inaugural cohort of Entrepreneurs Program

    Comprehensive curriculum and mentorship model carefully designed for early-career researchers.​​​

    ACS is thrilled to introduce the inaugural cohort of the BrightEdge Entrepreneurs (BEE) Program for 2024. BrightEdge, ACS’ impact venture capital arm, posted on LinkedIn a heartfelt thank you to the WoodNext Foundation, a donor-advised fund sponsored by the Greater Houston Community Foundation, for its generous donation which made this program possible. 

    The BEE initiative boasts a comprehensive 10-month curriculum and mentorship model carefully designed for early-career researchers. This program empowers participants, referred to as "Entrepreneurs" within the framework, to simultaneously advance their technical expertise and propel their budding commercial ventures.

    Entrepreneur selection criteria are rooted in their alignment with the mission priorities of the ACS and BrightEdge's investment focus areas. These areas include the development of innovative biomedical products, advancements in patient response to therapy, strengthening infrastructure for research and development, addressing health disparities and patient burden, as well as championing prevention and screening efforts.

    All who are involved eagerly await what this year holds in store!

  • New ACS Cancer Facts & Figures report: Overall cancer mortality still declining

    Projected number of new cancer diagnoses in US will top 2 million in 2024 for first time ever.

    Overall cancer mortality has continued to decline, resulting in more than 4 million fewer deaths in the US since 1991. However, this progress is being jeopardized by increasing incidence for 6 of the top 10 cancers as the projected number of new diagnoses tops 2 million (2,001,140) for the first time. These are just some of the findings revealed in Cancer Statistics, 2024, the ACS’ annual report on cancer facts and trends. These findings are published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians and its consumer-friendly companion, Cancer Facts & Figures 2024, on 

    “We’re encouraged by the steady drop in cancer mortality as a result of less smoking, earlier detection for some cancers, and improved treatment,” Rebecca Siegel, ACS senior scientific director, Surveillance Research and lead author of the report said in a media release Wednesday. “But as a nation, we’ve dropped the ball on cancer prevention as incidence continues to increase for many common cancers – like breast, prostate, and endometrial, as well as colorectal and cervical cancers in some young adults.”

    Learn more

    Team members can learn more about this year’s Cancer Facts & Figures report in many ways: 

    For the report, ACS researchers compiled the most recent data on population-based cancer occurrence and outcomes using incidence data collected by central cancer registries, through 2020, and mortality data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, through 2021. 

    “The 2024 ACS cancer report underscores the importance of cancer prevention and illuminates priority areas to address cancers whose incidence and/or mortality rates are inexplicably rising,” said Dr. Karen Knudsen, ACS chief executive officer. “These observations highlight the critical need to invest in equitable application of proven cancer control interventions, and in discovery for new therapies – especially for advanced-stage cancers. Both endeavors will be essential to accelerate progress against the 200 diseases we call cancer, and to save lives.”

    Rising colorectal cancer incidence has rapidly shifted mortality patterns in adults under 50 years of age; colorectal cancer has moved up from bring the fourth leading cause of cancer death in both younger men and women two decades ago to first in men and second in women. Breast cancer leads in women under 50 with 2,251 deaths in 2021.

    Other highlights from the report include: 

    • Cervical cancer incidence rates are decreasing steeply in women in their 20s, who were first to receive the HPV vaccine, but are increased in women 30-44 years old by 1.7% per year from 2012 through 2019, highlighting the need for more emphasis on screening in young women, as well as broader uptake of the vaccine. In 2021, HPV vaccination coverage in adolescents 13-17 years ranged from 33% in Mississippi to 79% in the District of Columbia. 
    • After decades of increase, cancer incidence in children has finally leveled off, although rates continue to increase among adolescents (ages 15-19 years), including a greater than 4% per year rise in thyroid cancer, much of which is likely overdiagnosis; the 15-year survival rate for thyroid cancer in adolescents is 99%. 
    • Mortality rates continue to increase by 2% per year for uterine corpus (endometrial) cancer, one of the few cancers with increasing mortality. Steeper increases in women of color are widening racial disparities, with the death rate now two times higher in Black women (9.1 per 100,000) than in White women (4.6 per 100,000). 
    • Cancer patients are getting younger: the proportion of diagnoses in people who are middle-aged (50-64 years) increased from 25% in 1995 to 30% in 2019-2020, whereas the proportion 65 years and older decreased from 61% to 58%, despite both age groups growing in the general population (from 13% to 19% for ages 50-64 years and from 13% to 17% for ages 65 and older). In addition to changes in the population age distribution, this shift reflects steep decreases in incidence of prostate cancer and smoking-related cancers in older adults, as well as increased cancer incidence in people born after the 1950s because of higher obesity and other yet unknown factors.

    ACS author Angela Giaquinto also participated in the study.

    Quick facts about ACS Cancer Facts & Figures 

    • Since 1951, Cancer Facts & Figures has been the public’s go-to resource for timely cancer information. This annual report provides the most current information about cancer.
    • The audience for the publication extends not just nationwide, but globally, and equips health professionals, educators, policymakers, patients, and others with crucial findings.
    • Once a stand-alone publication, Cancer Facts & Figures is now the flagship work in a highly regarded series of nine reports under the purview of the Surveillance and Health Equity Science team. Updating each report is about a 6-month collaboration between renowned cancer experts from ACS and other top research institutions across the country.
    • Each Cancer Facts & Figures report is published with a companion article in the ACS journal, CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
    • A unique feature of Cancer Facts & Figures is their state-specific data: the publications break down projections by state and at the national level.
    • ACS Cancer Facts & Figures publications are downloaded on average about 9,000 per month or about 300 times every single day.

  • Incidence rates for most local and regional stage cancers declined during first year of COVID-19, new research shows

    Researchers also found declines highest in racial and ethnic populations.

    A new report led by researchers at ACS shows, during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, cancer incidence rates declined for almost all cancer types examined. The declines were largely driven by local and regional stage disease, however, cancer incidence rates for distant stage or the most advanced type of disease decreased for just six of the 22 cancer types examined. The study is published in the International Journal of Cancer.

    “Cancer incidence rates during 2020 deviated from pre-pandemic patterns, likely due to the suspension of health care for both cancer and non-cancer related medical care,” said Elizabeth Schafer, associate scientist, health equity science at the American Cancer Society and lead author of the study. “These findings have given us more evidence of the impact of the pandemic on cancer incidence rates by stage at diagnosis and race and ethnicity.”

    “Whether these declines will lead to increases in advanced-stage disease and mortality rates remains to be investigated by studying the incidence and mortality trends with additional data years,” added Schafer. “Nevertheless, the findings reinforce the importance of strengthening the return to preventive care campaigns and outreach for detecting cancers at early and more treatable stages.”

    Dr. Ahmedin Jemal is senior author of the paper. Other ACS authors include Dr. Farhad IslamiDr. Xuesong HanDr. Leticia NogueiraDr. Nikita Sandeep WagleDr. Robin Yabroff, and Dr. Hyuna Sung.

  • Non-metropolitan areas, people of lower socioeconomic status, Black and American Indian/Alaska Native People carry highest cancer burden

    American Cancer Society’s Cancer Disparities Report shows cancer disparities by socioeconomic status within each race are larger than disparities by race.

    In a new, biennial report on the status of cancer disparities in the United States led by researchers at ACS, mortality from all cancers and leading causes of cancer death are substantially higher in non-metropolitan areas than in large metropolitan areas and in individuals with limited education (a proxy for lower socioeconomic status). The report also shows Black and American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) people continue to bear a disproportionately higher burden of cancer deaths, overall and from major cancers. The disparities in overall cancer mortality by education level within each race were considerably larger than the Black-White disparities, underscoring the major role of poverty in racial disparity. The researchers also found substantial disparities in social determinants of health, exposure to major modifiable cancer risk factors, and cancer screening, stage at diagnosis, and survival by metropolitan status and race. The findings are published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

    “Our research suggests a major role for socioeconomic disparities in racial disparities in cancer mortality,” said Dr. Farhad Islami, senior scientific director, cancer disparity research at the American Cancer Society and lead author of the report. “It also shows substantial disparities in cancer occurrence and outcomes by geographic location, especially in younger ages.”

    In 2021, the ACS published its first biennial report on the status of cancer disparities in the U.S. In this second report, the authors provide updated data on racial, ethnic, socioeconomic (educational attainment as a marker), and geographic (metropolitan status) disparities in cancer occurrence and outcomes and contributing factors to these disparities in the country. Researchers also review programs that have reduced cancer disparities and provide policy recommendations to further mitigate these inequalities.

    “Many of the observed racial, socioeconomic, and geographic disparities in cancer mortality align with disparities in exposure to risk factors and access to cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment, which are largely rooted in fundamental inequities in social determinants of health,” added Dr. Ahmedin Jemal, senior vice president, surveillance and health equity science at the American Cancer Society and senior author of the research. “Overcoming these disparities will require equitable policies at all levels of government and broad interdisciplinary engagement to address fundamental inequities in social determinants of health. In the meantime, broad and equitable implementation of evidence-based interventions such as comprehensive tobacco control programs in each state can further mitigate cancer disparities in the U.S.”

    “All people should have equitable access to quality, affordable health care,” said Lisa A. Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), ACS’ advocacy affiliate. “This report underscores the need for lawmakers to support policies that help improve access to prevention, early detection and treatment services, such as increasing federal and state funding for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Programexpanding Medicaid in the 10 states that have not done so, and passing the federal Prostate-Specific Antigen Screening for High-Risk Insured Men Act. Doing so will help reduce the unequal burden of cancer and save more lives by identifying diagnoses at earlier stages when less invasive and less costly treatment options are available to patients.”

    Other ACS authors include Dr. Jordan Baeker BispoDr. Hyunjung LeeDr. Daniel WieseDr. Robin YabroffDr. Priti BandiDr. Alpa PatelDr. Elvan DanielsDr. Arif KamalDr. Carmen Guerra, and Dr. William Dahut.

    The report also was included in the OncoAlert newsletter on Nov. 16.

  • New study shows fewer cancer surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments during start of COVID-19 pandemic

    Researchers stress more studies are needed to determine full extent of cancer care disruption during the pandemic.

    A large study led by researchers at ACS shows there were approximately 100,000 fewer cancer surgeries performed during the first months of the pandemic, an estimated 40,000 fewer chemotherapy treatments initiated, and more than 55,000 fewer radiation treatments in the United States. Scientists attribute these significant deficits to a drop in the number of cancer diagnoses instead of changes in cancer treatment strategies. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Oncology.

    "These findings are very concerning,” said Dr. Leticia Nogueira, scientific director, health services research at the American Cancer Society and lead author of the study. “We knew the COVID-19 pandemic led to disruptions in access to healthcare, including cancer care, but we’re now beginning to see the full extent of the damage.”

    “More studies still need to be done concerning cancer care and disruptions during the pandemic, mainly if these treatment deficits resulted in changes in cancer survival and mortality,” added Nogueira. “Future studies should also evaluate whether clinical, socioeconomic, and facility characteristics are associated with changes in cancer treatments during the pandemic.”

    Dr. Robin Yabroff is senior author of the study. Other ACS authors include Elizabeth J. SchaferDr. Qinjin FanDr. Nikita Sandeep WagleJingxuan ZhaoKewei Sylvia ShiDr. Xuesong Han, and Dr. Ahmedin Jemal.

  • New research shows housing assistance programs increase access to important breast cancer screening for some lower income women

    The association is strongest for younger women and women in urban areas.

    New findings led by ACS researchers show that breast cancer screening is higher for some low-income women who receive government housing assistance compared to those who do not. The odds of breast cancer screening were 30% higher for housing assistance recipients in urban areas, and two-fold higher for recipients aged 45-54 years and those of Hispanic ethnicity. The findings are published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM).

    “Receiving housing assistance has been associated with several positive health outcomes and health behaviors in past research, and our findings suggest it can also support cancer screening in some medically underserved groups,” said Dr. Jordan Baeker Bispo, principal scientist, cancer disparity research at the American Cancer Society and lead author of the study. “But we also found more needs to be done to further level the playing field for everyone to be able to access critical screenings for cancer.”

    “Despite the promising evidence for these groups, improving housing affordability may not be sufficient to eliminate socioeconomic disparities in cancer screening,” added Baeker Bispo. “Programs that address other key determinants, like access to routine care providers and health literacy, are still needed to enhance access to screening for everyone and help detect cancer early to save lives.”

    Dr. Farhad Islami is senior author of the paper. Other ACS authors include Dr. Hyunjung LeeDr. Parichoy Pal Choudhury, and Dr. Ahmedin Jemal.

  • Black patients with early-onset colorectal cancer received worse and less timely care than White patients, new study shows

    Researchers stress the need to dismantle structural racism and advance health equity.

    In a new, large national hospital-based study, researchers at ACS found individuals racialized as Black in the United States with early-onset colorectal cancer received worse and less timely, guideline-concordant care than individuals racialized as White. This cancer care included surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. The study pointed to health insurance, a modifiable factor, as the largest contributor to racial disparities in receipt of guideline-concordant care. The findings are published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO).

    “Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. and the incidence and mortality rates among young adults are rising,” said Dr. Leticia Nogueira, scientific director, health services research at the American Cancer Society and lead author of the study. “Research also shows young Black individuals are more likely to die after a colorectal cancer diagnosis than White individuals. This is why addressing racial disparities is so important to ensure everyone receives needed, timely treatment to help battle this disease.”

    “With health insurance being the largest modifiable factor contributing to racial disparities in this study, it’s critical to eliminate this barrier,” added Nogueira. “Expanding access to health insurance coverage could help improve colorectal care and outcomes from individuals of all racialized groups.”

    The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) advocates for policy solutions that help improve access to high-quality, affordable care, including Medicaid expansion. The health coverage provided by Medicaid helps improve health outcomes and helps reduce the burden of cancer by offering access to timely prevention and early detection services, as well as affordable treatment and care.

    “Lack of access to high quality, affordable and timely care is a leading contributor to the significant cancer disparities Black people experience,” said Lisa A. Lacasse, president of ACS CAN. “We urge lawmakers to expand Medicaid in the 10 states that haven’t already done so to help reduce colorectal cancer disparities and move us closer to our vision of ending cancer as we know it, for everyone.”

    ACS researcher Rebecca Siegel is senior author of the study and Dr. Robin Yabroff is a contributing author.

    Dr. Nogueira also spoke with Healio about the news.

  • ACS studies featured prominently at ASCO Quality Care Symposium

    New findings spotlighted during event that examines important science and topics in quality care.

    Several ACS findings were presented at the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Quality Care Symposium in Boston, MA, Oct. 27 – 28. They included the following, pictured above, from top to bottom, left to right:

    • new study, led by Jingxuan Zhao, senior associate scientist, health services research, showed among patients receiving outpatient cancer treatment in two sites (the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona and at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi), most people could understand basic health insurance terms, such as premiums and deductibles. However, the study also showed that relatively high percentages of patients did not understand terms such as provider networks and formularies and had trouble calculating out-of-pocket expenses.
    • new study, led by Dr. Robin Yabroff, scientific vice president, health services research, with researchers at ACS and the National Cancer Institute, shows only about a quarter of individuals newly diagnosed with advanced cancers had documented physician discussions about costs ofcare, which may hinder identifying patient needs and tracking outcomes of referrals for assistance. Growing costs of cancer care can result in financial hardship for patients, and many professional organizations recommend patient-physician discussions about expected treatment costs as part of high-quality care. Documentation of these discussions is critical as even privately insured patients may find care unaffordable without additional assistance.
    • New research, led by Dr. Leticia Nogueira, scientific director, health services research, and scientists at ACS and the University of California, San Francisco, shows individuals in the United States undergoing radiotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who are exposed to wildfires near the treating facility have worse overall survival than unexposed individuals.
    • new study, led by Kewei Sylvia Shi, associate scientist in health services research, shows that adults in the United States with prior insurance coverage disruptions are significantly less likely to receive guideline-concordant and past-year cancer screening, compared to people with continuous coverage. People without health insurance coverage had the lowest screening levels.
    • new study, led by Qinjin Fan, senior scientist, health services research, found that adults in the United States with stage IV cancer living in nonmetropolitan, socioeconomically deprived areas, the southern U.S., or being treated at community facilities had lower accessibility to palliative care physicians than their counterparts in other areas. Patients who had higher geographic accessibility to palliative care providers were more likely to receive the care in both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas.
    • new study, led by Nuo Nova Yang, associate scientist in health services research, found that while the percentage of late-stage diagnoses decreased since 2018 across the United States, patients in states with no or few regulations on short-term limited duration (STLD) insurance sales had a net increase in late-stage cancer diagnoses.
    • In two new abstracts, led by Dr. Jason Zheng, senior principal scientist, health services research, crowdfunding campaigns, like GoFundMe, are being used by survivors of cancer in the United States in growing numbers to help pay for medical and other basic household expenses. The use of these campaigns underscores the fragility of financial safety nets for patients and their families.
    • new study, led by Jessica Star, associate scientist, cancer risk factors & screening surveillance research, shows state Medicaid expansion status was associated with higher screening for colorectal and breast cancers and lower socioeconomic insecurity (food and financial) within federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States from 2020 and 2021.

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