Jan 18, 2024 - News

Cancer cases are climbing in Colorado, with more than 29K diagnoses expected this year

Projected new cancer diagnoses in 2024, by state
Data: American Cancer Society; Map: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

An estimated 29,430 new cancer diagnoses are expected in Colorado this year, up from 28,920 in 2023, according to the latest projection from the American Cancer Society.

Driving the news: New cancer diagnoses across the U.S. are expected to top 2 million for the first time this year, driven in large part by an alarming increase among Americans under age 50, Axios' Tina Reed reports.

Why it matters: Despite major improvements in cancer survival, the disease remains a leading cause of death in Colorado.

  • An estimated 7,600 Coloradans die from cancer every year, according to the state's public health department.

Zoom in: The ACS report projects the highest increase of new cases for selected cancers in Colorado will include breast, prostate and lung.

  • Nearly 8,500 Coloradans are projected to lose their lives to the illness in 2024, with lung cancer accounting for the most deaths.

State of play: Over the last 20 years, Colorado's death rate has largely declined, partly due to improved screening, a sharp drop in smoking, and more effective treatments.

  • The state's cancer death rate was 159.7 per 100,000 residents in 2005 compared to 126.5 in 2021, the most recent year for which data is available, CDC numbers show.

The big picture: Across the country, the cancer death rate has been cut by a third in the last three decades — but diagnoses have been increasing for some cancers, and strong racial and ethnic disparities in deaths persist.

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