US Cancer Death Rates Have Dropped Over Past 25 Years

Colorectal cancer endangers more 20-to-30-year-olds: study - Xinhua |

Colorectal cancer endangers more 20-to-30-year-olds: study - Xinhua |

The cancer rate in the United States dropped continuously over a 25-year period, representing a 27 percent decline, according to a study published Tuesday. In real numbers, that's nearly 2.6 million fewer cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society.

There's been a decline in the historic racial gap in cancer death rates, but an economic gap is growing - especially when it comes to deaths that could be prevented by early screening and treatment, better eating and less smoking.

Although cancer was still the second leading killer in 2016, the study revealed a decline in deaths from the four major types of cancer: lung, breast, prostate, and colorectal.

By tracking deaths attributed to cancer over the past few decades the researchers were able to determine that the rate of cancer deaths in 2016 was an incredible 27% lower than it was in 1991. But the lung cancer death rate dropped by almost 50 percent among men since 1991. The bad news is, not everyone benefited equally.

The death rate for lung cancer dropped by 48% from 1990 to 2016 among men and by 23% from 2002 to 2016 among women, with declines accelerating among both men and women in recent years.

However, the impact of obesity on cancer risk is hard to investigate from other behaviors or attributes people with obesity may have, particularly related to diet. Socioeconomic inequalities are widening, although the racial gap in cancer mortality is narrowing slowly, according to the researchers.

Cancer Rates by Age An estimated 11,060 children aged 1 to 14 years will be diagnosed with cancer in 2019; the estimated number of cancer deaths in this age group is 1190. Moreover, the study only looked at a subset of cases.

The new study does a "very good job" summarizing those trends, said Dr. Walter Curran, executive director of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta, who was not involved in the study. Other risk factors for liver cancer include obesity, heavy drinking, and smoking.

Still, the decline in cancer-related mortality does not affect the entire American population equally. The estimates are some of the most widely quoted cancer statistics in the world. "So we've been wondering if that's going to happen for cancer as well, but so far it hasn't". "These counties are low‐hanging fruit for locally focused cancer control efforts, including increased access to basic health care and interventions for smoking cessation, healthy living, and cancer screening programs", the authors of the paper write. Poverty, for example, has been associated with higher cancer case and death rates.

Of the most common types of cancer in the USA, all the ones with increasing death rates are linked to obesity, including cancers of the thyroid, pancreas and uterus.

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