Cancer Across the U.S.

Cancer Across the U.S.

06.01.12 | By Preet Bilinski

Today, thanks in part to the work done in biopharmaceutical research and development, there are a record number of Americans surviving cancer: nearly 12 million. Despite this progress, cancer remains the second leading cause of death by disease in the United States, exceeded only by heart disease. In 2012, some 577,190 Americans were expected to die of cancer-more than 1,500 people a day.

>> Read more about Medicines in Development for Cancer.

In addition to the steady improvements in cancer survivorship rates in the U.S. (and the associated benefits for patients and their families), declines in cancer death rates have a tremendous economic impact. The National Institutes of Health estimate overall costs for cancer in 2007 at $226.8 billion: $103.8 billion for direct medical costs (all health expenditures) and $123 billion for indirect mortality costs (cost of lost productivity due to premature death). Advances in cancer treatments have benefited the economy. For example, despite costs to the U.S. health care system, cancer medicines have helped generate 23 million additional life-years and $1.9 trillion in value to society overall, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper.

Today, researchers are continuing to advance against many forms of cancer, with genetics and personalized medicine as important drivers of this improvement. Scientists continue to gain a better understanding of the disease, and researchers are increasingly developing targeted therapies to treat the many forms of cancer. There are 981 medicines in the pipeline, many of which take a targeted approach to more safely and effectively treat cancer. To learn more about how cancer affects your community, take a look at our cancer impact map.

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