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Cancer Incidence, Death Rates Continue to Drop: Report

January 5, 2012

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) — Small but continued drops
in cancer incidence and deaths in the United States in recent years are
charted in a new report.

Between 2004 and 2008, death rates for cancer went down by 1.8 percent
a year in men and 1.6 percent a year in women, the American Cancer Society
(ACS) reported Wednesday.

And from 1990 through 2008, death rates plunged almost 23 percent for
men and just over 15 percent for women.

“Cancer death rates in the U.S. have continued to decrease since the
early 1990s,” said Dr. Ahmedin Jemal, senior author of the new report,
published online Jan. 4 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. “As
a result of this, about a million cancer deaths were averted.”

The decreases, said Jemal, who is vice president for surveillance
research at the ACS, “largely reflect improvements in prevention, early
detection and treatment.”

The annual report is based on the most recent data available from the
National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and

Death rates dropped most dramatically among black men (2.4 percent per
year) and Hispanic men (2.3 percent annually).

“It’s an encouraging note that the decrease in cancer deaths was a
little larger as a percentage in the African-American population,” said
Dr. Michael V. Seiden, president and CEO of Fox Chase Cancer Center in
Philadelphia. “This is wonderful to see because, as a group, they do much
worse than whites. That’s a gap we need to close.”

The report also noted continued advances were made against the four
major cancer killers — lung, colorectum, breast and prostate. Declines in
lung cancer deaths accounted for almost 40 percent of the total decline in
men, and longer lives among breast cancer survivors resulted in 34 percent
of the total drop in women.

Meanwhile, cancer incidence rates dipped 0.6 percent for men, although
they remained unchanged for women.

There was also good news in the area of childhood malignancies.
Although incidence increased by half a percent from 2004 to 2008, death
rates since 1975 have decreased from 4.9 per 100,000 children to 2.2 per
100,000 in 2008. The five-year survival rate is now 83 percent, up
dramatically from 58 percent in the mid-1970s, the report found.

Still, one in four deaths in the United States each year is due to
cancer and, in 2012, some 1.6 million new cancers will be diagnosed and
almost 600,000 people will die from the disease.

Racial and ethnic disparities remain, with black men and women more
likely to get cancer and more likely to die from it.

And there have been disconcerting increases in cancers of the pancreas,
liver, thyroid and kidney as well as melanoma, esophageal adenocarcinoma
and some oropharyngeal cancers, the last related to infection with human
papillomavirus (HPV).

“These are worrisome trends which require further study and
intervention,” said Seiden.

Experts don’t really know the reasons behind these increases but some,
such as cancers of the kidney and pancreas, may be related to the growing
obesity epidemic, said Jemal.

The rise in liver tumors could well be due to hepatitis C infections or
intravenous drug use in the 1960s and ’70s, he added.

Much additional progress is easily within reach, said Seiden.

“There’s still a lot of low-lying fruit. Still, only half our
population is getting screened by colonoscopy, 20 percent smoke
cigarettes. Mammography, Pap screening, all of those have room for an
upside as do vaccinations for things like HPV and hepatitis,” he said.
“There is still plenty of incremental improvement in earlier diagnosis, in
cancer prevention and, of course, in extending lives through better cancer

More information

The American Cancer
has more on cancer.

Article source: http://news.yahoo.com/cancer-incidence-death-rates-continue-drop-report-190207571.html


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  10. U.S. Blacks More Likely to Die of Colon Cancer Than Whites: Study


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