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Changes in Cancer Incidence, Deaths Expected by 2040

THURSDAY, April 8, 2021 -- Cancer incidence and death are expected to change by 2040, with breast cancer remaining the most common cancer followed by melanoma, then lung cancer, according to a study published online April 7 in JAMA Network Open.

Lola Rahib, Ph.D., from Cancer Commons in Mountain View, California, and colleagues used population growth projections and current population-based cancer incidence and death rates to calculate the changes in incidences and deaths to 2040.

The researchers estimated that the most common cancers in 2040 will be breast cancer, melanoma, and lung cancer (364,000; 219,000; and 208,000 cases, respectively), followed by colorectal cancer as the fourth most common (147,000 cases) and prostate cancer as the 14th most common (66,000 cases). In 2040, lung cancer is expected to continue as the leading cause of cancer-related death, followed by pancreatic cancer (63,000 and 46,000 deaths, respectively), while liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer were expected to surpass colorectal cancer (41,000 and 34,000 deaths, respectively). Breast cancer was expected to decrease to the fifth most common cause of death (30,000 deaths).

"The estimated absolute number of cancer diagnoses and deaths will be important to inform the need for professionals trained to recognize and care for individuals with the disease, the burden on insurance companies and government programs, and the allocation of research funding to support future prevention and treatments," the authors write.

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