Ranks of cancer survivors growing fast, CDC says

By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer

ATLANTA – The number of cancer survivors in the United States is increasing by hundreds of thousands a year, and now includes roughly one in 20 adults.

Health officials attribute the increase in part to earlier detection and better treatment. Demographics are a factor, too. Cancer is most common in people 65 and older, and the nation's elderly population is growing.

In a report released Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that in 2007 there were about 11.7 million Americans with a history of cancer.

Forty years ago, there were about 3 million cancer survivors. That increased to 10 million in 2001 and to 11.4 million in 2006.

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Online: CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr