Study Estimates There Will Be Almost 19 Million Cancer Survivors in the US by 2024

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An increasing number of people are expected to survive cancer.

The American Cancer Society estimates that there are about 14.5 million cancer survivors in the U.S. right now. That number includes survivors of all types of cancer. A new report predicts that number will increase to nearly 19 million by 2024. The statistic is a hopeful one, as it indicates that more people will overcome the disease. In fact, rates of cancer incidence (or people being diagnosed) have been decreasing over the last 10 years, and yet the number of survivors has been increasing.

Researchers attribute this trend to early detection efforts and the advent of more effective treatments. The study has drawn attention to the importance of creating programs and support groups geared toward survivors. Additionally, researchers note that health care will have to change to help people who beat the disease.

"The growing number of cancer survivors in the U.S. makes it increasingly important to understand the unique medical and psychosocial needs of survivors," Carol DeSantis, MPH, American Cancer Society epidemiologist and lead author of the report, said in a statement. "Despite the fact that awareness of survivorship issues has increased, cancer survivors face numerous, important hurdles created by a fractured health care system, poor integration of survivorship care, and financial and other barriers to quality care, particularly among the medically underserved. An important first step in addressing these challenges is to identify 'best practices' for the delivery of quality post-treatment cancer care."

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