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Cancer Health Center

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U.S. Cancer Deaths Decline Again: Report

Better prevention, screening and treatment are keys to continued progress, experts say


The report was published Jan. 7 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Dr. Anthony D'Amico, chief of radiation oncology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said, "The good news is that the rate of deaths has declined again for almost the 10th consecutive year."

D'Amico also believes that these declines are the result of better screening, especially screening for prostate cancer. In addition, new treatments are reducing deaths, he said.

"Something good is happening and I would attribute that to screening and better treatments," D'Amico said. "We have better treatments for men and women, so screening can only help," he added.

In 2014, it's estimated there will be over 1.6 million new cancer cases and nearly 586,000 cancer deaths in the United States, according to the report. Although the number of new cancers and cancer deaths continues to increase as the population increases and ages, the rate of new cancers and cancer deaths is declining, Jemal explained.

For men, prostate, lung and colon cancer will make up half of all newly diagnosed cancers. Prostate cancer alone will account for about one-quarter of the cases, the researchers estimate.

Among women, the most common cancers will be breast, lung and colon cancer. Taken together, these will account for half of all cases. Breast cancer alone is estimated to account for 29 percent of all new cancers.

In 2014, about 1,600 people will die from cancer each day, the report estimates. Lung, colon, prostate and breast cancers are the most common causes of cancer death. These account for almost half of the all cancer deaths. Just over one in four cancer deaths is from lung cancer, the researchers noted.

From 2006 to 2010, cancer rates dropped 0.6 percent per year among men while remaining stable among women. During the same time, death rates from cancer dropped by 1.8 percent per year among men and 1.4 percent per year among women, the investigators found.

Moreover, during the last 20 years, the death rate from cancer has continued to drop from a high of about 215 per 100,000 people to about 172 per 100,000 people in 2010. This means that 1,340,400 fewer cancer deaths (952,700 among men and 387,700 among women) were avoided during that time period, the researchers explained.

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