Special Report

The Most Common Types of Cancer in Men and Women

There will be nearly 1.8 million new cancer diagnoses and 606,900 cancer deaths in the United States in 2019, according to the American Cancer Society. Though the exact causes of cancer are not fully understood, there are risk factors that can increase the risk of certain types of cancer, including age, genetic predisposition, and gender, as well as smoking, obesity, and unhealthy lifestyles.

Nationwide, women are slightly more likely than men to be diagnosed with cancer. Higher cancer diagnosis rates in women are partially because women can develop five different common types of cancer than men cannot, while men can only develop three different types of cancer that women cannot. Women are also far more likely to develop breast cancer than men, and breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States.

While women are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer, more American men will die from cancer this year than women. This is due in part to behavioral factors. For example, lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in the United States, and 81% of lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking — and men are more likely to smoke than women.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the ACS report “Cancer Facts & Figures 2019” to identify the most common types of cancer for men and women. We only included specific types of cancer in our analysis. The ACS used historic cancer diagnosis and death data to estimate diagnoses and deaths in 2019. The ACS used 15 years of cancer diagnosis data (2001-2015) to estimate new cases in 2019.

The good news is that cancer is becoming less deadly in the United States. There were 2.6 million fewer cancer deaths in 2016 than in 1991. The reduction is attributable to improving detection methods and treatments, but also to healthier behaviors. Still, further progress can be made. For example, because obesity and e-cigarette use can increase the risk of cancer, both rank among the biggest public health problems of the year.

Click here for the most common cancers in men and women. 

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