Published: Sat, January 06, 2018
Medicine | By Rogelio Lindsey

United States cancer death rate goes down, find out why

United States cancer death rate goes down, find out why

From 1991 to 2015 there was a continuous decrease of 26% in the combined cancer death rate, resulting in about 2,378,600 fewer cancer deaths than would have been expected if death rates had stayed at their peak.

Steady reductions in smoking, plus better detection and treatment, accounted for a significant part of the decline.

But it killed 45 percent fewer men between 1990 and 2015, and 19 percent fewer women between 2002 and 2015.

Siegel, MPH, from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues estimated the number of new cancer cases and deaths that will occur in the United States in 2018.

Deaths due to prostate cancer were more than halved between 1989 and 2015, declining 52 percent.

Lung cancer incidence rates continued to decline about twice as fast in men as in women, reflecting differences in tobacco use and more smoking among females in some populations.

Researchers agree, however, that the reasons behind racial disparities in cancer deaths are multi-pronged and still not fully understood.

In 13 states, the death rates were not statistically significantly different between whites and blacks. Those shrinking gaps suggest minorities "are taking advantage of preventive services like screening mammography and colonoscopy, have reduced smoking and, for those over 65, are receiving quality care", she said.

Hansen added that among individuals undergoing cancer treatment, two-thirds of those working for large companies with over 1,000 staffers reported paid medical leave access, compared to just over one-third of those employed by small firms with fewer than 100 workers.

A woman has a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer over her lifetime; a man has a 1 in 9 chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer, the American Cancer Society says.

Women have a 37.6 percent percent chance of ever being diagnosed with cancer. The NCI is undertaking its largest-ever study on the topic to delve into how genetic and biological factors contribute to risk. "Strikingly though, tobacco remains by far the leading cause of cancer deaths today, responsible for almost three in 10 cancer deaths".

New cancer cases are still predicted to affect more than 1.7 million people in 2018, but as smoking falls out of fashion and detection and treatment technologies improve, the U.S. can expect to see survival rates continue to improve. Breast cancer alone represents 30 percent of all new cancer diagnoses in women.

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