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Predicting Virginia's Cancer Rates to 2040

Cancer is the leading cause of death across Virginia and the nation.  A new study predicts the number of new cancer cases as the population ages.

Virginia’s cancer rates will increase by double digits in each of the next 3 decades.  That’s according to a new report from the Demographics Research Group at the University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center.  Director Qian Cai  says most cancers occur in people age 55 and older, so she and her team projected the likely number of new cancer cases from information taken from the Virginia Cancer Registry.

“It’s going to grow 26 percent in this decade over last and then 20 percent in the next decade over this one and 12 percent in the third 2030 to 2040.”

And Cai  says because more older people live in the rural areas of the Commonwealth, the projected cancer rates are the highest in those localities.

“We really hope this information is helpful to health providers, to health insurance companies, to local and state government and agencies, and to individuals and their families and to understand the future burden we all need to deal with.”

She also hopes this report is a wake-up call for Virginians to take preventive steps to stay healthy because with the aging population, she doesn’t expect the instances of cancer to drop anytime soon.