While there have been improvements in some areas of cancer prevention and early detection, the use of potentially lifesaving measures is suboptimal and strongly influenced by individual behaviors, as well as social, economic, and public policy factors, according to a new report from the American Cancer Society.

Since 1992, the American Cancer Society has published Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts & Figures (CPED) as a resource to strengthen cancer prevention and early detection efforts at the local, state, and national levels. The report, published every two years, assesses current prevalence of cancer risk factors and prevention measures, an important component of monitoring progress and strengthening cancer prevention and early detection efforts.

Highlights from the 2017-2018 report:


In 2015, 15% of adults were current cigarette smokers. Smoking prevalence varied widely by state, ranging from 9% in Utah to 26% in Kentucky.

Current cigarette smoking among high school students declined from 29% in 1999 to 9% in 2015. By state, smoking prevalence among high school students in 2015 ranged from 5% in Rhode Island to 19% in West Virginia.

Since 2002, there have been more former smokers than current smokers in the US. In 2015, there were approximately 52.8 million former and 36.5 million current cigarette smokers.


About seven out of 10 adults are overweight or obese; 38% are obese (men: 35%, women: 40%). The prevalence of obesity among women continues to rise, while it appears to have stabilized among men in recent years.

The prevalence of obesity tripled between 1976 and 2002, among adolescents (ages 12-19 years) and is currently about 21%, unchanged in recent years.

In 2015, about 50% of adults reported meeting recommended levels of aerobic physical activity. An estimated 27% of high school students met recommended levels of physical activity.

In 2015, only 29% of adults reported eating two or more servings of fruit and 16% reported eating three or more servings of vegetables per day. About one in three (32%) high school students consumed fruit two or more times per day and 15% consumed vegetables three or more times per day.

About 28% of adults reported excessive alcohol consumption, according to 2011-2014 data.


Only 13% of adults reported wearing a longsleeved shirt and only 15% reported wearing a wide-brimmed hat always or most of the time when outside on a warm, sunny day for more than an hour.

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