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Section III: Oncology and Hematology

Which of the following statements regarding the epidemiology of cancer is true?

A. Cancer has equal mortality rates across all racial groups.

B. Cancer is responsible for one out of four deaths in the United States.

C. Cancer is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

D. Since 1992, the incidence of cancer has been increasing by about 2% each year.

E. The greatest number of cancers in the world occurs in Europe or North America.

The answer is B. (Chap. 99) Worldwide, there are more than 12.7 million new cases of cancer and 7.6 million cancer deaths each year, according to estimates provided by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Most new cases of cancer occur in Asia (45%), with 26% occurring in Europe and 14.5% in North America. Worldwide, lung cancer is both the most common cause of cancer and the most common cause of cancer deaths. In the United States, lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death but is not the most commonly diagnosed cancer. For men, the most commonly diagnosed cancer is prostate cancer, and for women, it is breast cancer. However, overall, in the United States, the incidence of cancer has been declining by about 2% each year since 1992. Despite the declining incidence, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States behind heart disease and is responsible for one out every four deaths. In individuals younger than 85 years, cancer is the leading cause of death. However, 5-year survival rates for cancer are generally improving over time. In 1960–1963, the 5-year survival for all cancers in white patients was 39%. By 2003–2009, this had increased to 69%. African American individuals with cancer fare more poorly with cancer. Over the same interval from 2003–2009, the 5- year survival was only 61% for black individuals. However, racial differences in survival are narrowing over time.

A 42-year-old woman is treated with carboplatin and paclitaxel for stage III ovarian cancer. Computed tomography (CT) imaging after completing six cycles of therapy shows that the tumor burden has decreased by 25%. What is the best assessment of her response to therapy?

A. Complete response

B. Partial response

C. Progressive disease

D. Stable disease

The answer is D. (Chap. 99) Assessing response to treatment is an essential component of cancer treatment and compares repeat imaging to the imaging that was used to initially ...

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