New initiative will focus on prostate cancer resurgence and disparities.
The American Cancer Society on Jan. 12 released Cancer Statistics, 2023, the organization’s annual report on cancer facts and trends, along with its consumer-friendly companion, Cancer Facts & Figures 2023.
Key findings include:
- Overall cancer mortality has dropped 33% since 1991, averting an estimated 3.8 million cancer deaths. Study authors attribute the steady progress to reductions in smoking; uptake of screening for breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers; and improved treatment, such as adjuvant chemotherapies for colon and breast cancers.
- There was a 65% reduction in cervical cancer rates in women ages 20-24 from 2012 through 2019, in the wake of the introduction of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. These results show the first population-based sign of cervical cancer prevention in women in their early 20s who were first to receive the HPV vaccine.
- In 2023 there are projected to be 1,958,310 new cancer cases and 609,820 cancer deaths in the United States.
- Findings also show an increase in diagnosis of men with advanced prostate cancer, with the highest incidence, and in prostate cancer mortality in Black men.
Cervical Cancer Progress
“The large drop in cervical cancer incidence is extremely exciting because this is the first group of women to receive the HPV vaccine, and it probably foreshadows steep reductions in other HPV-associated cancers,” said Rebecca Siegel, ACS senior scientific director, surveillance research, and the lead author of the report.
This is the first demonstration that targeted vaccination can reduce cancer incidence and mortality and provides optimism for expanding research toward the development of additional cancer prevention vaccines. “Increased investment in strategies to harness the immune system in cancer prevention is warranted,” said Dr. Ahmedin Jemal, ACS senior vice president, surveillance and health equity science, and senior author of the study.
The HPV vaccine can prevent more than 90% of HPV cancers, including most cervical cancers. The vaccine was introduced in the US in 2006. An estimated 13,960 new cervical cancer cases and 4,310 cervical cancer deaths occurred in the United States in 2023. Cervical cancer was once a leading cause of cancer death for American women, but the death rate has dropped by more than half since the mid-1970s because of screening.
Prostate Cancer: More to Do
By contrast, prostate cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer death for men in the United States, increased 3% per year from 2014 through 2019, after two decades of decline. Most concerning is that this increase was driven by the diagnosis of advanced disease. Since 2011, the diagnosis of advanced-stage (regional- or distant-stage) prostate cancer has increased by 4% to 5% annually and the proportion of men diagnosed with distant-stage disease has doubled. These findings underscore the importance of understanding and reducing this trend.
“The increasing percentage of men presenting with advanced prostate cancer, which is much more difficult to treat and often incurable, is highly discouraging,” said Dr. Karen Knudsen, ACS CEO. “In order to end cancer as we know it, for everyone, it is imperative for us to focus on cancers where trends for incidence and mortality are going in the wrong direction.”
To further that goal and address prostate cancer resurgence and disparities, today ACS is also launching a new initiative called IMPACT, or “Improving Mortality from Prostate Cancer Together.” Executive leaders will announce the program at an event Jan. 12 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Stay tuned this week for more information on that event and on IMPACT.
“We must address these shifts in prostate cancer, especially in the Black community,” said ACS Chief Scientific Officer Dr. William Dahut, “Since the incidence of prostate cancer in Black men is 70% higher than in White men and prostate cancer mortality rates in Black men are approximately two to four times higher than those in every other racial and ethnic group.”
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!
What you can do
- The annual release of Cancer Facts & Figures is an ideal time to brush up on your cancer knowledge as an ACS volunteer. Download a copy and learn more about the disease and its current impact.
- Learn more about screening guidelines – particularly for cervical cancer. (Remember January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month!)
- Follow the topic in the news. Amplify messaging from ACS brand social media channels.
- Learn more and follow along as ACS launches the exciting IMPACT program.