Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. The most common cancers diagnosed in the U.S. are those of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and rectum, and bladder. Cancers of the lung, colon and rectum, breast, and pancreas are responsible for the most deaths. The prognosis of different cancers is highly variable. Many cancers are curable with early detection and treatment. Cancers that are aggressive or diagnosed at a later stage may be more difficult to treat, and can even be life threatening.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and one of the deadliest. About one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in her life. Though death rates have decreased since 1989, more than 40,000 U.S. women are thought to have died from breast cancer in 2015 alone.
Lung cancer is the second-most-common cancer in the United States, and it is the deadliest for both men and women. In 2012, more than 210,000 Americans were diagnosed with lung cancer, and in the same year more than 150,000 Americans died from lung cancer. Worldwide, lung cancers are the most common cancers.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer found in men. In 2013, more than 177,000 Americans were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and more than 27,000 American men died from prostate cancer.
Of the cancers that can impact both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second-greatest killer in the United States.
Liver cancer develops in about 20,000 men and 8,000 women each year. Hepatitis B and C and heavy drinking increase one’s risk of developing liver cancer.
About 20,000 American women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. For American women, ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer and the fifth leading cause of cancer death.
Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. Of the roughly 53,000 Americans diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year, only 8 percent will survive more than five years.