U.S. Cancer Statistics: Highlights from 2018 Incidence

U.S. Cancer Statistics Data Briefs, No. 23
June 2021

In 2018, a total of 1,708,921 new cancer cases were reported in the United States: 862,949 among males and 845,972 among females. For all cancers combined, the incidence rate was 436 per 100,000 standard population overall. It was 470 per 100,000 among males and 413 per 100,000 among females.

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Each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) produce updated U.S. Cancer Statistics data. These data are the official federal cancer statistics for the United States. The U.S. Cancer Statistics provides cancer information on the entire U.S. population. Information about new cancer cases (incidence) comes from CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) and NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. The latest data release includes cancers diagnosed through 2018.

The most common cancers diagnosed in 2018 were breast, lung, and colorectal cancers among females and prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers among males.

Figure 1. Cases per 100,000 Standard Population, by Sex and Cancer Type, United States, 2018

Among people in the United States diagnosed with invasive cancer from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2017, an estimated 5,511,635 people (2,841,024 females and 2,670,611 males) were alive as of January 1, 2018. This is called the 5-year limited duration prevalence. The highest numbers were for breast cancer among females and prostate cancer among males.

Figure 2. Estimated 5-year Limited Duration Prevalence Countsa by Sex and Cancer Type, United States, 2018

aThis figure shows estimated number of people alive as of January 1, 2018, who were diagnosed with invasive cancer from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2017.

Explore U.S. Cancer Statistics

The Data Visualizations tool makes it easy for anyone to explore and use the latest cancer data.

You can use this tool to create interactive graphics examining—

  • New cancer cases and cancer deaths by—
    • State, county, and Congressional district.
    • Sex, age, race, ethnicity, and year.
  • Survival statistics.
  • Number of cancer survivors (also called prevalence).

Researchers can analyze incidence data from the entire United States with the Public Use Database, available through SEER*Stat software.

Data Sources

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 2020 data submission, covering 99% of the U.S. population. 

U.S. Cancer Statistics survival data are from 42 NPCR registries that met high-quality data criteria for the 2020 data submission period and conducted linkage with the National Death Index and/or active patient follow-up, covering 86% of the U.S. population.

Suggested Citation

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. United States Cancer Statistics: Highlights from 2018 Incidence. USCS Data Brief, no. 23. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services; 2021.

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