Incidence rates are crucial when it comes to critical illness.
For example, in 2001, there are 192,000 estimated new cases in the U.S. of breast cancer in females, yet the anticipated U.S. deaths are 40,200. In this case, the incidence rate is almost five times the death rate. Mammography has resulted in many more breast cancers being identified at curable stages. As a result, the five-year survival is 96% for localized breast cancer, as compared with 77% if the cancer has spread regionally (Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Oct. 19, 2001).
As for prostate cancer, there are an estimated 180,400 new cases in the US, but only 31,900 deaths. The incidence rate for this type of cancer is nearly six times its death rate. Prostate cancers five-year survival approximates 100% of small-localized cancers. (Ibid.)