Cancer will be the No. 1 killer in the United States by the year 2030, according to a new report from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The number of cancer cases is expected to increase nearly 45 percent from 1.6 million to 2.3 million cases annually.
All of these new cancer patients is going to put more pressure on an already strained medical field, which suffers from physician shortages and financial troubles.
Adding to the burden will be an increase in the number of cancer survivors. Fifty years ago, only a handful of "minimally effective" treatments for cancer existed, according to the report. Today, there are more than 170 FDA-approved anti-cancer drugs.
Two-thirds of Americans now live at least five years after a cancer diagnosis, up from about 50 percent in the 1970s, according to the report. Cancer survivors also require ongoing medical care because of an increased risk of other diseases such as other cancers, heart disease and diabetes.
The Affordable Care Act is also expected to increase the need for oncologists in the United States. Obamacare is expected to cover millions of Americans who did not have insurance coverage prior to the law being enacted.