US Cancer Death Rate Drops 27% in 25 Years

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The U.S. cancer death rate has hit a milestone: It's been falling for at least 25 years, according to a new report.

"The decline in deaths is largely driven by reductions in smoking and improved treatment, as well as earlier detection for some cancers", said lead researcher Rebecca Siegel, scientific director of surveillance research at the cancer society. Cancer is still present and specialists predict 1.7 million new cases in 2019 and 600,000 deaths from these diseases.

In fact, cancer deaths dropped 27 percent from 1991 to 2016, according to the report.

The researchers project that in 2019, there will be 1,762,450 new cancer cases and 606,880 cancer deaths.

Death rates due to obesity-related cancers, including uterine, pancreatic, and liver cancers, have been on the rise, although it's still not clear exactly how the obesity epidemic has affected cancer mortality.

These statistics are even more important as cancer is among the leading causes of death in the United States, alongside heart disease and accidents, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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In the early 1970s, colon cancer death rates in the poorest counties were 20 percent lower than those in affluent counties; now they're 35 percent higher.

The American Cancer Society also annually estimates the numbers of new cancer cases and cancer deaths that could occur nationwide, based on the most recent data. Moreover, the study only looked at a subset of cases.

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. "The good news is that we see fewer racial disparities in cancer mortality than in the past, but the bad news is, we see socioeconomic disparities in cancer mortality". While she celebrated the progress made, she also noted that the report showed that where a patient lives can dictate their chances of surviving cancer and that many patients cannot access high-quality care or be involved in research. Oncology experts say advances in cancer drugs have played a major role, too.

"Poverty has been a relentless obstacle to receiving cancer care because of lack of, or low insurance coverage". For women, declines in incidence have continued for lung cancer, but have tapered in recent years for colorectal cancer, while rates for other common cancers are increasing or stable, e.g., an increase of 0.4% per year for breast cancer. However, smoking patterns do not appear to explain the higher lung cancer rates being reported in women compared with men born around the 1960s.

Meanwhile, some cancers that have been linked to obesity, including liver and pancreatic, showed signs of an increase.

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