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Cancer expected to spike in next 20 years

HOUSTON, May 4 (UPI) -- The number of new cancer cases diagnosed annually in the United States will increase by 45 percent in the next 20 years, U.S. researchers project.

New cancer cases diagnosed annually will increase from 1.6 million in 2010 to 2.3 million in 2030, with a dramatic spike in incidence predicted in the elderly and minority populations, researchers at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center said.

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The study, published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, predicts a 67 percent increase in the number of adults age 65 or older diagnosed with cancer, from 1 million in 2010 to 1.6 million in 2030. In non-white individuals over the same 20-year span, the incidence is expected to increase by 100 percent, from 330,000 to 660,000.

Senior author Dr. Ben Smith says the study underscores cancer's growing stress on the U.S. healthcare system.

"Our study focused not on cancer incidence rates per 1,000 -- a 70-year-old male will still have the same cancer risk -- but we looked at the cancer rates in light of aging baby boomers and an increase in minority population," Smith tells United Press International.

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"The U.S. government, based on current laws and immigration patterns, creates models on how the U.S. population is forecast to change and we used this data to forecast the amount of cancer in America in the future."

Age and being a minority are risk factors for cancer, Smith says.

"In 2030, 70 percent of all cancers will be diagnosed in the elderly and 28 percent in minorities," Smith says.

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