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Annual Report on Cancer

Posted 1/8/2013

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  Every year in January, the major cancer groups in the US release a formal and very detailed "Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer." It is both overwhelming, occasionally tedious, and fascinating reading--that is, more than everything you ever wanted to know about what is happening in cancer. This is an announcement from the American Cancer Society that includes a link to the full report. I encourage you to at least click on the link and then read what you want, as much or little as you choose.

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The "Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2009" was released to the public January 7, 2013. The report is being published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI). The report provides an update of cancer incidence rates (new cases), death rates, and trends in the United States. The American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries collaborate to create the report, which has been published since 1998. The lead authors of this year's report are American Cancer Society epidemiologists Ahmedin Jemal and Edgar P. Simard.

This year's report finds that overall cancer death rates have continued to decline for men and women of all major racial and ethnic groups and for most major cancer sites; overall cancer death rates for both sexes combined decreased by 1.5% per year from 2000 to 2009. Overall cancer incidence rates decreased in men but stabilized in women.

The report includes a special feature section, which this year highlights incidence trends for human papillomavirus (HPV)–associated cancers and HPV vaccination (recommended for adolescents aged 11–12 years). The report concludes that incidence rates increased for two HPV-associated cancers (oropharynx, anus) and some cancers not associated with HPV (e.g., liver, kidney, thyroid). Nationally, 32.0% of girls aged 13 to 17 years in 2010 had received three doses of the HPV vaccine, and coverage was statistically significantly lower among the uninsured and in some Southern states where cervical cancer rates were highest and recent Pap testing prevalence was the lowest.

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