June 27, 2011

Cancer Incident Rates by Age Group

Recently I saw a commenter on The Simple Dollar said something that sounded like he didn't think cancer rates were age related.   As you can see in the data below, cancer rates are very age related.    

I got the data from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results SEER website.   The figures are for 2004-2008.

These are the rates of cancer incidence per 100,000 people for each age group.   The low is for years 5-9 when the rate is 11.9 and the peak is at age 80-84 the rate is 2,444.    The incidence rate for the population as a whole is 464.    These incident rates are per year, so people in their early 80's have about a 2% annual rate of being diagnosed with cancer.

This data is for all forms of cancer.   Different types of cancers have different incident rates.  Most cancers follow a pattern similar to the graph.  However there are exceptions, for example testicular cancer in men peaks in the late 20's.

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