Elderly, Minorities To Be Affected by Expected Increase in Cancer Diagnoses Over Next Two Decades, Study Predicts
Over the next 20 years, the number of new cancer cases diagnosed annually will increase by 45%, and minorities and older adults -- segments of the population expected to grow rapidly -- will be disproportionately affected, according to a study released on Wednesday and published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Reuters Health reports.
For the study, researcher Ben Smith of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and colleagues examined current U.S. Census Bureau statistics and cancer rates to look at how changes in the population will affect the number of people diagnosed with cancer. The data assume that rates of cancer would remain about the same. "This is basically [showing] how ... our population changes impact the number of people getting cancer," Smith added, noting, "Both older adults and minorities are segments of the patient population that are particularly vulnerable to receiving sub-optimal medical care."
Researchers projected a 67% increase in the number of adults ages 65 and older diagnosed with cancer in 2030. Researchers also project that by 2030, the number of cancer cases annually among minorities will double from 330,000 to 660,000.
"In 2030, 70% of all cancers will be diagnosed in the elderly and 28% in minorities, and the number of older adults diagnosed with cancer will be the same as the total number of Americans diagnosed with cancer in 2010," Smith said (Steenhuysen, Reuters Health, 4/29).
An abstract of the study is available online.