A New Report Says More Americans Are Beating Cancer Than Ever. Is Our Healthcare System Ready?

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A New Report Says More Americans Are Beating Cancer Than Ever. Is Our Healthcare System Ready?

According to estimates from the “Cancer Treatment and Survivorship Statistics, 2019,” cancer survivors are predicted to number over 22 million by 2030, and as survivors grow in number, new approaches to treating them will be necessary.

Cancer terrifies us. It just does. Especially those of us who grew up when most kinds of cancer meant certain death. And for us it hasn’t seemed to matter that treatments and survival rates speak to the contrary. It still terrifies us. But maybe that’s beginning to change. As we watch people around us survive so many types of cancer, maybe the “Big C Word” isn’t necessarily the death sentence it once was. Maybe the survival rates really are confirming that those with cancer and their loved ones have every reason to be hopeful. The American Cancer Society would say it does, and they have in a new report issued this week.

And though no one really wants to be a member of this particular club, Cancer survivors are a growing group, one that has beaten the odds and one that will need continuing and unique kinds of care.

According to estimates from the “Cancer Treatment and Survivorship Statistics, 2019,” cancer survivors are predicted to number over 22 million by 2030. Every three years, the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute collaborate to estimate cancer prevalence in the U.S. using incidence and survival data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results cancer registries; vital statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics; and population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau. The new report further holds that the “growing and aging population will increase cancer survivor count despite trends in incidence.”

This is great news for survivors of the deadliest cancers, like Shannon Lokke Nelson, who said though she is a survivor, her life has changed forever. She contends that more cancer survivors will necessitate more changes in medicine overall. “If the quoted numbers and trends are correct, and I have no reason to doubt them, the disability burden on society must be dealt with,” she said. “Disregarding it only increases the burden, and I feel I’m a perfect example of this.”

Read on: A New Report Says More Americans Are Beating Cancer Than Ever. Is Our Healthcare System Ready?

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