Cancer mortality milestone: 25 years of continuous decline

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

The overall cancer death rate decreased continuously by 27 percent from 1991 to 2016, according to a report published online January 8 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. The data come from Cancer Statistics, 2019, the American Cancer Society's widely-quoted annual report on cancer rates and trends.

"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. The greatest number of deaths are expected to be from cancers of the lung, prostate, and colorectum in men, and cancers of the lung, breast, and colorectum in women. "Cancer Statistics, 2019", published in the American Cancer Society's journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, estimates the numbers of new cancer cases and deaths expected in the USA this year.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal "CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians".

An estimated 1,762,450 cancers will be in diagnosed in 2019, which equals more than 4,800 new cases each day. Between 2012 and 2016, the death rate for liver cancer rose 1.2 percent among men and 2.6 percent among women, while the rate for pancreatic cancer rose 0.3 percent among men.

The nation's cancer death rate was increasing until the early 1990s. For example, in the early 1970s, colon cancer death rates were 20 percent lower in poor counties, and today they are 35 percent higher, when compared with people living in richer counties, Siegel said.

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. But cancer is the leading cause of death in many states and among Hispanics, Asian Americans and people under 80 years of age.

Ortner tells KLIN News that it's not all good news. "So we've been wondering if that's going to happen for cancer as well, but so far it hasn't". Brain and nervous system tumors make up 26% of pediatric cancers, yet they are the most common diagnoses among adolescents (aged 15 to 19 years), accounting for 21% of adolescent cancer cases. Other risk factors for liver cancer include obesity, heavy drinking, and smoking.

Still, disparities may persist because "socioeconomic status plays a pivotal role in cancer incidence and survival", Theodorescu said.

Some of the counties with the highest poverty are in rural areas of south Georgia, and "this is something that we've become aware of here at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University", Curran said.

But the decline in deaths is not across the board for all types of cancer. "So it's a multi-factorial issue that we view as a real critical issue in the cancer world right now".



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