Spotlight on Oncology

By Steve Barrett
Saturday, September 1, 2018

Cancer exacts a massive toll in terms of both suffering and healthcare costs, but mortality rates have declined.


  • More than 600,000 people will die from cancer-related causes in 2018.
  • About 1.7 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed this year.
  • Nearly two in five men and women will face a cancer diagnosis at some point.


  • Cancer kills more than 8 million people annually.
  • Poor nutrition, use of tobacco and alcohol, high body mass index, and lack of exercise account for a third of cancer deaths.
  • More than one-fifth of cancer deaths are linked to tobacco.
  • Cancer care spending exceeds $1 trillion each year.

Kentucky Blues

  • Kentucky has the highest incidence of all cancers combined — 513.7 per 100,000 residents — of any state. It also has the highest all-cancer mortality rate — 199.1 per 100,000.
  • New Mexico has the lowest incidence, at 369.9 per 100,000, and Utah has the lowest mortality rate, at 127.8 per 100,000.

A Survival Disparity

Men in the United States are markedly more likely than women to die of cancer. Cancer kills approximately 197 per 100,000 men, compared with 140 per 100,000 women.

Signs of Hope

The U.S. death rate from cancer declined 25 percent from 1990–2014.