Scientists use the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, which a large database that looks at cancer statistics. In one study (1), this tool was used to find out what the cancer trends have been like over the past 40 years.
The researchers looked at various aspects of cancer from the years 1975 through 2003. They found that, over the past 40 years, people are being diagnosed with cancer at a later age when compared to the 1970s. Both men and women have had an increase in the rate of cancer during this same time frame.
In looking at information about ethnicity and cancer, they found that people of African -American descent have the highest incidence of cancer and they tend to die from cancer at a greater rate when compared to Caucasians. For all types of cancer, the researchers found that chances of getting some type of cancer is about 50 percent in men and about 33 percent in women.
Source: 1.Hayat MJ, et al. Cancer Statistics, Trends, and Multiple Primary Cancer Analyses from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. The Oncologist. 2007 Jan 2007;12(1):20-37.
Dr. Adem Gunes