Access Part I and Part II of the Report

The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer is a collaborative effort between the American Cancer Society (ACS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The annual report is divided into two parts. Part I presents trends in incidence and mortality across different types of cancer between 2001-2016, separated by age, sex and race/ethnicity. Part II describes progress towards reaching the Healthy People 2020 objectives related to lung, colorectal, female breast and prostate cancers. Healthy People 2020 objectives include reduction in death rates, reduction in risk factors and increase in cancer screenings. The authors analyze the effects of sex, race/ethnicity, geographic location, health insurance status and education on these outcomes. This report utilizes data obtained by the National Program of Cancer Registries.

The primary findings of the annual report include:

Part I: National Cancer Statistics

  • Between 2012 and 2016, overall cancer incidence rates were stable among non-Hispanic white males, but decreased in other racial/ethnic groups
  • Between 2012 and 2016, overall cancer incidence rates increased among females in all racial/ethnic groups—on average 0.2% per year
  • Between 2013 and 2017, cancer death rates decreased for all cancers combined among both males and females in each racial/ethnic group
    • The largest declines in mortality were observed in men and women with melanoma of the skin and lung cancer
  • Although overall cancer death rates continue to decline, incidence rates are leveling off among males and are increasing slightly among females

Part II: Progress Toward Healthy People 2020 Objectives for Four Common Cancers

  • Between 2007 and 2017, cancer mortality decreased 15% overall, ranging from 4% (rural) to 22% (metropolitan)
    • Groups that did not meet the Healthy People 2020 target rates include males, African Americans and rural residents
  • Risk factors that include smoking, recent smoking cessation, excessive alcohol use and obesity have not reached their target
    • Rural residents had one of the highest smoking prevalence and smallest percentage of improvement (13%)
  • Breast, colorectal and lung cancer screening targets have not been met across the majority of sociodemographic groups
    • Mammography use declined by 10% in some groups, including women in rural areas
  • Lack of awareness regarding lung and other cancer screening options can contribute to low screening rates
    • Educating healthcare providers about cancer screening benefits and tools can help address this problem
  • Evidence-based interventions that reduce cancer risk factors and promote healthy behaviors are not always equitably applied or do not work well in every community
    • Cancer prevention and control interventions which are culturally appropriate, targeted and sustainable may boost success in communities with the greatest need

View the full report below:

Available infographics and images on the report for social media:

By: Amaya Alexandra Ramos


Henley, S. J., Ward, E. M., Scott, S., Ma, J., Anderson, R. N., Firth, A. U., et al. (2020). Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, part I: National cancer statistics. Cancer, 126(10), 2225-2249.

Henley, S. J., Thomas, C. C., Lewis, D. R., Ward, E. M., Islami, F., Wu, M., et al. (2020). Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, part II: Progress toward Healthy People 2020 objectives for 4 common cancers. Cancer, 126(10), 2250-2266.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. Their global headquarters are located in Atlanta, Georgia, with regional and local offices throughout the country. The mission of the American Cancer Society is to save lives, celebrate lives and lead the fight for a world without cancer