New report shows pre-pandemic declines in deaths for most common cancers

Overall cancer death rates declined from 2014-2018, according to the National Cancer Institute’s recently released¬†Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer.


The report looks at long-term trends and data regarding new cancer cases (incidence) and cancer deaths (mortality) across the United States. Key findings include:

  • On average, cancer death rates decreased 2.2% per year among males and 1.7% per year among females.
  • Cancer death rates decreased an average of 0.9% per year among adolescents and young adults, and an average of 1.4% per year among children.
  • Overall cancer incidence rates are leveling off among males after earlier declines and increasing slightly among females and adolescents and young adults.
  • Increased mortality was found in five cancer types among women and six cancer types among men.¬†(See the graphic for details. Click on the graphic to view a larger version in your web browser.)
  • The overall downward trends in cancer deaths reflect population changes in cancer risk factors, increases in cancer screenings (before the COVID-19 pandemic), and changes in diagnostic practices.
  • The most common cancer types among children were leukemia, brain and other nervous system cancers, and lymphoma. All of these cancers showed increases in incidence rates between 2001-2017.

Read the report