Expected years of life lost for six potentially preventable cancers in the United States

Pang Hsiang Liu, Jung Der Wang, Nancy L. Keating

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study aimed to quantify the reduced life expectancy for six types of potentially preventable cancer in the United States. Methods: A total of 1,579,310 patients diagnosed with cancers of the lung, colon and rectum, liver, breast, cervix, or prostate in 1992-2005 were identified from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registries. The lifetime survival functions for the cancer cohort and age-/sex-matched reference population were generated using a semiparametric extrapolation method with annual life tables. The average expected years of life lost (EYLL) for cancers were calculated by subtracting the estimated life expectancy of the cancer cohorts from that of the reference population. Results: Liver cancer and lung cancer had an average EYLL of over 13. years, while the EYLL for prostate cancer was below 2. years. When considering the annual incidence in 2012, lung cancer would cause the greatest subtotal of EYLL (3,116,000. years) followed by female breast cancer (1,420,000. years) and colorectal cancer (932,000. years). Conclusion: The potential life years saved by successful prevention, in terms of EYLL since diagnosis, would be substantial for lung cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer. This work will inform prioritization of strategies for cancer control to minimize the life expectancy loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-313
Number of pages5
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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