top of page

American Cancer Society: New cancer diagnoses expected to hit record high this year

… young people more at risk

The number of deaths from cancer has declined by about 33 percent since 1994, which is positive. However, researchers are concerned about the increasing number of people under 50 who are being diagnosed with cancer for the first time — and are not certain why that is.

The American Cancer Society has released data that show that more Americans are expected to contract cancer for the first time this year.

And it has reasons for concern.

2024 projections

The ARC released this in January,

Over the last 30 years, the risk of dying from cancer has steadily declined, sparing some 4 million lives in the United States. This downward trend can partially be explained by big wins in smoking cessation, early cancer detection, and treatment advancements.

Cancer incidence, however, is on the rise for many common cancers. In the coming year, we’re expecting to hit a bleak milestone—the first time new cases of cancer in the US are expected to cross the 2-million mark. That’s almost 5,500  cancer diagnoses a day. 

This trend is largely affected by the aging and growth of the population and by a rise in diagnoses of 6 of the 10 most common cancers—breast, prostate, endometrial, pancreatic, kidney, and melanoma. (The other 4 top 10 cancers are lung, colon and rectum, bladder, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.)

In 2024, over 611,000 deaths from cancer are projected for the US. That’s more than 1,600 deaths from cancer each day.

Sonya Collins, “2024 — First year the US expects more than 2M new cases of cancer,” American Cancer Society, January 17, 2024

Major problem: Young people

The problem that the ACS sees is in the increase in the number of young people contracting the disease. With it come some major concerns on a number of levels,

There have been major improvements in cancer survival, but there's a worrying rise in some cancers at the same time doctors are trying to figure out why they're seeing more young patients with cancer.

This demographic shift comes with psychological, physical and financial burdens that are less common with older patients, experts say.

  • Patients under 50 are more likely to be uninsured, juggling career and caregiving responsibilities, and face a higher lifetime risk of treatment-related side effects like second cancers.

  • "It's overwhelming for anybody, but especially for these younger patients who are going on with their daily lives and then suddenly get this life-altering diagnosis and really don't know where to turn," Robin Mendelsohn, co-director of the Center for Young Onset Colorectal and Gastrointestinal Cancers at Memorial Sloan Kettering, told Axios.

  • "Many feel alone because they're younger, their friends, many haven't had to deal with this.

Tina Lee, Axios, January 17, 2024

Check out the numbers by state on this map:

1 view0 comments


bottom of page