Cancer Death Rates Continue to Decline

Posted on July 12th, 2010 by

According to a report from the American Cancer Society, U.S. cancer death rates continue to decline. These findings were published in the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Although cancer remains an important cause of illness and death in the United States, progress is being made in prevention, early detection, and treatment. To provide information about trends in cancer incidence and mortality, the American Cancer Society released its annual report on cancer statistics.

  • In 2010 there will be an estimated 1,529,560 new cancer diagnoses in the United States. Prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers account for just over half of all new cancer diagnoses in men. In women, breast, lung, and colorectal cancers account for roughly half of all new cancers.
  • Between 1991 and 2006, cancer death rates fell 21.0% among men and 12.3% among women. In men, decreases in deaths from lung, prostate, and colorectal cancer account for approximately 80% of the drop in cancer death rate. In women, decreases in deaths from breast and colorectal cancer account for approximately 60% of the drop in cancer death rate.
  • The decline in death rate is likely to be due to several factors, including lower rates of smoking in men, early cancer detection through screening tests such as mammography and colonoscopy, and improvements in cancer treatment.
  • Cancer death rates continue to vary by race. African-American men are 14% more likely than White men to develop cancer and 34% more likely to die of the disease. African-American women are less likely than White women to get cancer but more likely to die from it.

The findings of this report highlight the gradual progress that is being made against cancer but also offer a stark reminder of the toll that cancer continues to take.

Reference: Jemal A, Siegel R, Xu J, Ward E. Cancer Statistics, 2010. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians [early online publication]. July 7, 2010.


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