Defining a cancer survivor as anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer, from the time of diagnosis through the balance of his or her life, the study found that the number of cancer survivors in the United States has increased steadily over the past three years for all cancers combined.
The report authors used incidence and follow-up data from National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program to estimate annual cancer prevalence – the number of people living following a diagnosis of cancer – and trends in cancer survivorship.
| Survivors of colorectal cancer account for 11% of all patients surviving cancer
| National Institutes of Health |
Although cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease, there are 9.8 million cancer survivors. This includes an estimated one in six people over the age of 65.
Breast cancer survivors make up the largest group of cancer survivors, accounting for 22% of the group. They are followed by survivors of prostate cancer (17%). Patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer were also highly placed, and make up the third largest group of cancer survivors (11%).