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National Cancer Institute


Number of Cancer Survivors

  • As of January 2016, it is estimated that there are 15.5 million cancer survivors in the United States. This represents 4.8% of the population.1 
  • The number of cancer survivors is projected to increase by 31%, to 20.3 million, by 2026, which represents an increase of more than 4 million survivors in 10 years.1 
  • The number of cancer survivors is projected to grow to 26.1 million by 2040, an increase of almost 11 million from 2016.1

Number or Percentage of Cancer Survivors, by Time Since Diagnosis

  • Over the next decade, the number of people who have lived 5 years or more after their cancer diagnosis is projected to increase approximately 35%, to 14 million.1 
  • In 2016, 67% of survivors have survived 5 years or more after diagnosis; 44% have survived 10 years or more; and 17% have survived 20 years or more.1 

More Details about Cancer Survivors

  • Sixty-two percent of survivors are currently 65 years of age or older.1
  • It is estimated that by 2040, 73% of cancer survivors in the United States will be 65 years or older.1 
  • Among today's survivors, the most common cancer sites represented include female breast (23%, 3.6 million), prostate (21%, 3.3 million), colorectal (9%, 1.5 million), gynecologic (8%, 1.3 million) and melanoma (8%, 1.2 million).* 2, 3


For additional cancer-related statistics, please visit NCI's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program.

* Note: People may be represented more than once in these percentages if they have been diagnosed with more than one cancer. For example, a man who has survived both colorectal cancer and prostate cancer will be included as both a colorectal cancer survivor and as a prostate cancer survivor. Therefore, the sum of the percentages may be more than 100%.


1 Bluethmann SM, Mariotto AB, Rowland, JH. Anticipating the ''Silver Tsunami'': Prevalence Trajectories and Comorbidity Burden among Older Cancer Survivors in the United States. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016;25:1029-1036.

2 American Cancer Society. Cancer Treatment & Survivorship Facts & Figures 2016-2017. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2016.

3 Miller, K. D., Siegel, R. L., Lin, C. C., Mariotto, A. B., Kramer, J. L., Rowland, J. H., Stein, K. D., Alteri, R. and Jemal, A. (2016), Cancer treatment and survivorship statistics, 2016. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.