By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Nearly 14 million Americans are cancer survivors, and that number is expected to skyrocket over the next decade. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has more on why and the challenges it brings.
A new American Cancer Society report shows more and more people are beating cancer. Researchers say that the growing, aging population is driving the trend.
Geri Barish is a cancer survivor, but it’s been a difficult journey. She’s battled breast cancer three times.
“I never thought I would get breast cancer again,” said Geri.
The 67-year-old is one of 13.7 million Americans living with a history of cancer. While cancer rates are decreasing in the U.S., a new American Cancer Society report shows that the number of cancer survivors will jump to almost 18 million by 2022.
“The population of older people that tends to get cancer is growing in the U.S. We’ve also had major advances in treatment of many cancers,” said Dr. Elizabeth Ward, with the American Cancer Society.
The report shows nearly half of all survivors are 70 years or older, and the majority are living five or more years after being diagnosed.
Also, there are close to 60,000 childhood cancer survivors.
Many survivors lead healthy lives, but the report shows some will face physical challenges and long-term side effects from treatment.
“It’s increasingly recognized that cancer survivors are a special population, and that they need attention in the medical community, they need resources in the general community,” said Dr. Ward.
Breast, colon and uterine cancers are the most common types of cancer for women living with a history of cancer. For men, it’s prostate, colon and melanoma.