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Slight Drop in Rate of Advanced Cancers, CDC Says

Number of cases where tumors have spread beyond origins declined, but experts say more can be done

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Rates of invasive cancers in the United States fell slightly from 2009 to 2010, and widespread adoption of colon cancer screening and other measures could push those rates even lower, a federal government study says.

Invasive cancers are tougher-to-treat, advanced tumors that spread from their original location to surrounding tissue.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, rates of these advanced cancers dropped from 459 per 100,000 people in 2009 to 446 per 100,000 people in 2010. Overall, in 2010 there were more than 745,300 cases of invasive cancers in men and more than 711,000 cases in women.

"The good news is that we are seeing slightly lower cancer rates in 2010 than in 2009," Dr. David Espey, acting director of the CDC's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, said in an agency news release.

"However, far too many people are disabled and die from preventable cancers. It's important to continue to offer the cancer preventive services that we know works to reduce cancer rates and save lives," he added.

The CDC found that rates of invasive cancers were higher among men (503 per 100,000 people) than among women (405 per 100,000). When assessed by race/ethnicity, rates were highest among blacks (455 per 100,000), the researchers said.

By tumor type, rates of advanced disease were highest for cancers of the prostate (126 per 100,000), female breast (119 per 100,000), lung and bronchial airways (62 per 100,000) and colon/rectum (40 per 100,000). Prostate, lung and colorectal cancers were the most common advanced tumors among men, while breast, lung, colorectal and uterine cancers were most common among women, the investigators found.

For the first time, lung cancer surpassed colorectal cancer to become the second most common invasive cancer in Hispanic men. Among Hispanic women, colorectal cancer remained more common than lung cancer, the CDC authors said.

Geography seemed to play a role as well, with wide variance in invasive cancer rates between states. For example, 511 out of every 100,000 people in Kentucky was diagnosed with an advanced tumor, compared to 380 out of every 100,000 people in Arizona, the study found.

Rates of invasive cancers can be pushed lower by encouraging more Americans to use preventive services such as certain types of cancer screenings, quit-smoking treatments and vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical and other types of cancers, the CDC said.

The study is published in the March 27 issue of the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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