Cancer, the 5th largest city in the United States.

If you took every American expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year and put them into one city, it would be the 5th largest city in the U.S. 

Wow.

Here's the breakdown: 

  1. New York - 8.5 million people 
  2. Los Angeles - 3.9 million
  3. Chicago - 2.7 million 
  4. Houston - 2.2 million
  5. Cancer - 1.6 million people diagnosed this year
  6. Philadelphia - 1.5 million
  7. Phoenix - 1.5 million
  8. San Antonio - 1.4 million
  9. San Diego - 1.4 million 
  10. Dallas - 1.3 million 

The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2014, 1,665,540 new cancer cases were expected to be diagnosed in the US alone. (Note: this estimate did not include noninvasive cancer of any site except the bladder, nor did it include basal cell or squamous cell skin cancers, which are not required to be reported to cancer registries) 

Here @ CancerQ, when we first read the 1.6 million cancer number, we were not all that surprised. However, we wanted to put this number into context. We then compared this number against U.S. city populations and all of a sudden the number seemed massive. We gave it context and it showed us how big our cancer problem really is. 

And the 1.6 million is only the number expected to be diagnosed. In one country. In one year. The fact that our imaginary cancer city would be larger than Philadelphia and not much smaller than Houston is mind numbing. 

Not to mention the over 14 million Americans living with a history of cancer. That's nearly twice the size of New York City. 

But why is this statistic when put into a different perspective important? 

It's important because old, outdated traditional approaches to treating cancer aren't working. 

- also, you aren't alone. we can learn from one another and their experiences and build upon this knowledge on an individual basis so it doesn't get put to waste and doesn't feel as completely overwhelming when you are diagnosed. we need new treatments, new research, and we need educated/ well informed / connected patients