June 11 (UPI) -- Roughly 17 million cancer survivors are living in the United States, a new study says.
Researchers expect that number to surge to more than 22 million by 2030, according to findings published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Nearly two-thirds of those survivors are older than age 65.
"People with a history of cancer have unique medical, psychosocial, and economic needs that require proactive assessment and management by health care providers," study co-author Robin Yabroff, senior scientific director of Health Services Research, said in a news release.
According to the study, about 8.1 million males and 8.8 million females living in the United States had cancer at one point in their lives. Approximately 68 percent of cancer survivors received a diagnosis five years or more ago, while 18 percent were diagnosed 20 or more ago.
For men, the three most prevalent types of cancer are prostate, colon and rectum, and melanoma of the skin. For women, the most prevalent forms of cancer are breast, endometrium, and colon and rectum.
However, those numbers might be a little misleading. The second most common form of cancer diagnosed for men is lung cancer, yet it ranks eighth in prevalence due to its low survival rate.
People who survive cancer still face challenges, such as poor coordination between oncologists and primary care physicians for patient treatment.
"Although there are growing numbers of tools that can assist patients, caregivers, and clinicians in navigating the various phases of cancer survivorship, further evidence-based resources are needed to optimize care," Yabroff said.