March 4, 2007

Pivotal Paper In 'The Oncologist' From National Cancer Institute Predicts Doubling Of Cancer Patients

The Oncologist - the monthly international peer-reviewed journal for physicians devoted to cancer patient care - reports the latest information on types of cancer and survival rates from the National Cancer Institute (NCI)'s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program in its January 2007 issue.

Today in America, the likelihood of developing cancer during one's lifetime is approximately one in two for men and one in three for women.

This staggering statistic, based on data from 2001 through 2003, is one of many recent trends in cancer discussed in this pivotal paper authored by Dr. Matthew Hayat and colleagues at the National Cancer Institute. The SEER Program was created as a result of the 1971 National Cancer Act, which mandated the collection, analysis, and dissemination of cancer data for use in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. This includes a profile of today's cancer patient, information on survival, and progress in controlling the disease.

Blacks have the highest incidence and mortality rates for men and women for all cancer sites combined.

Five-year patient survival for all cancer stages combined ranges from as low as only 16% for lung cancer patient survival to 100% survival for prostate cancer patients.

Cancer survival varies by stage of disease and race, with lower survival in blacks compared with whites.

The impact on the future U.S. cancer burden is estimated based on the growing and aging U.S. population. The number of new cancer patients is expected to more than double from the current 1.36 million in 2000 to almost 3.0 million in 2050. This projected doubling of cancer patients in the next few decades will undoubtedly place a huge burden on society ... to say nothing of the human toll the disease takes on patients and their families.

The SEER Program cancer statistics are useful for oncologists and for health care organizations in counseling newly diagnosed patients and in planning future cancer care services.

"NCI's SEER program is a finger on the pulse of cancer diagnosis, treatment, and outcome in the United States. It monitors 26% of the US population, including 23% of White Americans, 40% of Hispanic Americans, 59% of Asian Americans, 23% of African Americans, and 42% of native Americans," observed Bruce A. Chabner, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The Oncologist. "By looking at how frequently cancer occurs in Americans, and how long they live after the diagnosis," said Dr. Chabner, "the SEER program can tell public health officials where progress has occurred as well as where there is a need to redouble our efforts."

The Oncologist is one of the most important peer-reviewed providers of relevant cancer medicine information. The print edition serves more than 21,000 physicians around the world, and its web-based edition ( is read by more than 100,000 every month. The Journal provides thousands of practicing oncologists contemporary Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits. The Oncologist is the first and only journal with online CME approved by the NIH through which physicians obtain AMA PRA category 1 credits, including courses in Risk Management.

The complete paper is freely obtainable at:

Cancer Statistics, Trends, and Multiple Primary Cancer Analyses from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. Matthew J. Hayat, Nadia Howlader, Marsha E. Reichman and Brenda K. Edwards.

The Oncologist

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