Cancer Incidence and 5-Year Survival Among Asian/Pacific Islanders, United States—2008–2017

U.S. Cancer Statistics Data Briefs, No. 22
April 2021

During 2008 to 2017, cancer incidence rates among the Asian/Pacific Islander population decreased from 338.2 to 285.4 cases per 100,000 males compared with 294.6 to 287.4 cases per 100,000 females.

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Most Common Cancers

In 2017, 20% of all new cancer cases among Asian/Pacific Islander males were prostate cancer. Lung, colorectal, and liver cancer accounted for almost 33% of all new cases.

Among Asian/Pacific Islander females, 35% of all new cases were breast cancer while cancers of the lung, colon and rectum, and uterus accounted for 24% of all new cases in 2017.

Figure 1. Number of New Cancer Cases Among Asian/Pacific Islanders, 2017

Changes in Cancer Rates by Year of Diagnosis

Incidence rates of the most common cancers among Asian/Pacific Islander males went down from 2008 to 2017.

Among Asian/Pacific Islander females, incidence rates of colorectal and lung cancers went down from 2008 to 2017, but breast and uterine cancer incidence rates went up.

Figure 2. Change in Ratesa of Common Cancers Among Asian/Pacific Islanders During 2008 to 2017

aRates are per 100,000 and age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population.
bAnnual percentage change (APC) in rates was statistically significant from zero (P<.05).

Five-Year Relative Survival for Males and Females by Cancer Type

Among Asian/Pacific Islander males diagnosed with 1 of 5 common cancers during 2001 to 2016, 5-year relative survival was highest for prostate cancer, intermediate for colorectal cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and lowest for liver and lung cancers. Females diagnosed with thyroid, breast, and uterine cancer during that same time period had the highest 5-year survival.  Similar to males, the 5-year survival of colorectal cancer was intermediate for females and lowest for lung cancer.

Figure 3. 1-Year and 5-Year Relative Survivala for Common Cancers Among Asian/Pacific Islanders, by Sex, 2001–2016

aRelative survival estimates are based on cases diagnosed between 2001–2016.

Data Source

Data in this brief come from U.S. Cancer Statistics, the official federal cancer statistics.

U.S. Cancer Statistics incidence data are from population-based registries that participate in CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) and/or the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program and met high-quality data criteria for the 2019 data submission period, covering 100% of the U.S. population.

U.S. Cancer Statistics survival data are from 45 NPCR registries that met high-quality data standards for the 2019 data submission period and conducted linkage with the National Death Index and active patient follow-up, covering 94% of the U.S. population. Five-year relative survival estimates are based on cases diagnosed between 2001 and 2016.

Suggested Citation

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cancer Incidence and 5-year Survival Among Asian/Pacific Islanders, United States—2008–2017. USCS Data Brief, no 22. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services; 2021.

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Page last reviewed: January 26, 2021