New Journal Supplement Examines Disparities in Cancer Survival

New Journal Supplement Examines Disparities in Cancer Survival

Yesterday the American Cancer Society’s peer-reviewed journal, Cancer, published a special supplement — Population-based Cancer Survival in the United States (2001-2009):  findings from the CONCORD-2 study.  The supplement highlights the work of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, as well as international, national, and state partners in the cancer surveillance communities.  The data in these studies come from 33 statewide cancer registries covering 80% of the U.S. population.  The articles present trends in survival by race and stage for patients in the U.S. with 10 leading types of cancers:

  • Breast
  • Rectal
  • Stomach
  • Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Ovarian
  • Liver
  • Cervical
  • Colon
  • Lung
  • Prostate

Why this publication is important:

  • Each of the 10 site-specific papers contain a clinical and cancer control perspective showing how clinical practice may have influenced surveillance data, and how incidence, mortality and survival data can be used together to inform cancer control practice.
  • The supplement benchmarks the status of population-based survival for these cancers just prior to implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  The data may provide a baseline for future study on whether further improvements in survival will be seen in the era of personalized cancer care and targeted therapies and as federal and state initiatives seek to improve access to timely, effective therapies and care.
  • The data also tell a compelling story about the disproportionate burden of lower cancer survival experienced by vulnerable populations and underscores the need for more targeted efforts to ensure that all people receive screening and timely, appropriate high-quality treatment.

This supplement also represents a milestone for us in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control.  When CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries began in the mid-1990’s, it was an incidence-only registry, but it has now evolved to include follow-up data, necessary for survival and prevalence estimation.  We will continue working with our partners in the cancer surveillance communities to use these data to provide information that can be used to track and improve cancer survival rates across all populations.  Follow updates and cancer prevention messages on twitter at


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