CDC Report Predicts Cancer a Continuing Burden on Healthcare Systems

To evaluate the current status of cancer mortality following the initiation of HP2020, CDC scientists evaluated population trends and made projections on cancer deaths based on race and gender.

Healthy People 2020 (HP2020), an initiative of the US Department of Health and Human Services, was introduced to:

  • Identify nationwide health improvement priorities.
  • Increase public awareness and understanding of the determinants of health, disease, and disability and the opportunities for progress.
  • Provide measurable objectives and goals that are applicable at the national, State, and local levels.
  • Engage multiple sectors to take actions to strengthen policies and improve practices that are driven by the best available evidence and knowledge.
  • Identify critical research, evaluation, and data collection needs.

a 10% to 15% reduction in cancer death rates from 2007 till 2020.

Each objective of HP2020 has a baseline measure and a target to be achieved by 2020, including

To evaluate the current status of cancer mortality following the initiation of HP2020, CDC scientists used mortality data from 1995 to 2009 and evaluated population trends and made projections on cancer deaths based on race and gender.

2007 and 2020

According to the report, published in Preventing Chronic Disease, age-standardized death rates (population risk) began declining in the early 1990s and will continue to decline through 2020 for all cancer sites combined and for many of the leading cancers in both men and women. However, the report estimates a >10% increase in cancer deaths between among men and black women, and melanoma appears to have worse results.

The report concludes that while the overall risk of dying from cancer is declining, the impact of underlying demographic changes in the population will increase the burden of cancer on society and healthcare systems. This, the authors conclude necessitates "increased efforts to promote cancer prevention and improve survival to counter the impact of a growing and aging population on the cancer burden and to meet melanoma target death rates."