US Cancer Deaths Continue to Drop

Cancer death rate has been reduced

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. The decline was broken down to 1.6 million fewer deaths of men and 739,000 million fewer deaths of women.

Cancer is still a serious cause for concern: The researchers project that there will be more than 1.7 million new cases of cancer diagnosed in 2018 and 609,640 deaths from the disease. That amounts to 4,700 new diagnoses each day.

Cancer deaths have fallen yet again, thanks mostly to huge declines in smoking, the American Cancer Society said Thursday.

Officials with the American Cancer Society say more research is needed to bring down the death rate and detection of ovarian cancer, which accounts for 2.5 percent of all cancer cases, but 5 percent of cancer deaths among women.

"Strikingly though, tobacco remains by far the leading cause of cancer deaths today, responsible for almost three in ten cancer deaths".

The cancer death rate is lowest among Asian Americans.

Death rates have declined in the four major cancer types.

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The most common cancers in men include prostate, lung and colorectal cancers, amounting to 42 percent of all diagnoses, while women most frequently face breast, lung and colorectal cancer.

In men, prostate cancer causes 9 percent of deaths, while 7 percent are due to pancreatic cancer and 6 percent to liver cancer. Currently, fewer cases of prostate cancer are being detected.

Cancer also continues to affect men and women differently. Breast cancer alone represents 30 percent of all new cancer diagnoses in women. The cancer death rate was 14 percent higher in non-Hispanic blacks than in non-Hispanic whites, according to the paper.

Among Americans more youthful than 65, the death rate was just about a third higher among blacks than whites - with considerably bigger variations in many states.

The racial gap between black and white cancer mortality rates remained "significant" in 13 states, yet Kentucky and West Virginia, where there were not such disparities, had the highest death rates for whites.

Some states in the report, such as NY and MA, have seen the racial mortality gap disappear for whites and blacks over 65.

"Advancing the fight against cancer for all citizens requires broader application of existing cancer control knowledge, including smoking cessation and the increased uptake of cancer-preventing cervical and colorectal cancer screening and HPV vaccination, across all segments of the population, with an emphasis on disadvantaged groups", researchers conclude in the report.

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