One of the most important responsibilities of the National Cancer Institute is communicating our nation’s progress against cancer to the public. The Cancer Trends Progress Report is one way that we fulfill this responsibility. As an online summary of trends in US cancer control measures, this web-based report provides up-to-date information on a wide range of topics across the cancer control continuum—from disease prevention to cancer-related mortality or survivorship. It also includes data to help us track the successful implementation of research-based methods of early detection and risk reduction.
The Cancer Trends Progress Report draws on data from numerous federal departments and agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture, and several offices and agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, such as the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
As the report details, the nation is making important progress toward major cancer-related targets but losing ground in some areas. Mortality trends are the best indicators of progress against cancer. The rate of death from all cancers combined continues to decline among both men and women, among all major racial and ethnic groups, and for the most common types of cancer, including colon, lung, female breast, and prostate cancers. Nevertheless, mortality rates are increasing for some cancers, and important differences among subpopulations reflect chronic health disparities that are substantial for some groups. Along with mortality rates and other standard measures of cancer control, this report includes new and updated measures that address current issues like sleep, treatment for melanoma of the skin, outdoor tanning, and evidence-based smoking cessation aids. We frequently update relevant graphs with the latest information. We look forward to continuing to improve this report as we add more measures to inform readers.
Researchers and cancer control professionals can use the Cancer Trends Progress Report to advance cancer control progress by stimulating research ideas and setting priorities for cancer control program planning. We at NCI, along with our partners in this initiative, intend for this report to be a valuable reference tool and a catalyst for action. The numbers in this report reflect the lives and struggles of millions of people. NCI remains committed to advancing scientific progress and facilitating the application of scientific evidence. This report reflects our overarching mission: the support of cancer research to help all people live longer, healthier lives.
Katrina A. B. Goddard, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences
National Cancer Institute