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2 of 3 People Are Living At Least Five Years After Cancer Diagnosis

The number of people who live five years or longer after being diagnosed with cancer has gone up. This is due to improvements in finding cancer early and better cancer treatments. Survival depends on many things, such as the kind of cancer, age at diagnosis, and timeliness of treatment. Survival was lower among black people than white people.

Of the most common kinds of cancer, the percentage of people who live at least five years after their cancer is found is 97% for prostate cancer, 88% for female breast cancer, 64% for colorectal cancer, and 18% for lung cancer.

The rate of cancer cases among U.S. men and women was 440 per 100,000 people in 2012. The highest rates were for female breast, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers, which together accounted for half of all cancer cases in the United States.

Key Findings

Rates of new cancer cases per 100,000 people are shown in parentheses.

  • In 2012, 440 of every 100,000 people in the United States were diagnosed with cancer.
  • In 2012, 767,366 men and 761,712 women were diagnosed with cancer.
  • Rates were higher among men (483) than women (412).
  • The highest rates were for female breast (122), prostate (105), lung (60), and colorectal (39) cancers.
  • State rates for all cancer sites combined ranged from 371 to 515.


Henley SJ, Singh SD, King J, Wilson R, O’Neil ME, Ryerson AB. Invasive cancer incidence and survival—United States, 2012. MMWR 2015:64(49).