Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cancer Health Center

Font Size

U.S. Cancer Deaths Decline Again: Report

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

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Jan. 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of cancer deaths among Americans continues to decline, according to a new report. Over the last 20 years, the overall risk of dying from cancer has dropped 20 percent, researchers found.

The fastest decline in cancer death risk has been among middle-aged black men, for whom death rates have dropped by about 50 percent, the study authors report.

"We continue to make progress against cancer," said report co-author Ahmedin Jemal, vice president for surveillance and health services research at the American Cancer Society.

But despite this progress, black men still have the highest cancer incidence and death rates of all groups -- about double those for Asian Americans, who have the lowest rates, the authors pointed out in a news release from the American Cancer Society.

The decline in cancer deaths from 1991 to 2010 varied by age, race and sex, researchers found. For example, there was no decline in deaths for white women 80 and older, but a 55 percent decline among black men aged 40 to 49 years old.

This progress is largely because of better prevention, screening and treatment, Jemal said. The dramatic decline in cancer among black men is most likely attributable to decreases in smoking, he added.

Jemal said most of the progress has been made in colon, breast and prostate cancer. These cancers can be screened for and, when caught early, have better outcomes, he said.

In addition, decreased smoking has reduced the number of lung cancers, Jemal said.

But some cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, for which there is no screening and for which treatment often comes too late, remain just as deadly, he said.

Jemal, however, expects a brighter future as screening increases as more Americans get access to health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Not having insurance is the biggest barrier to screening, he explained.

Still, more needs to be done to close the improvement gap between races, an expert said.

"The halving of the risk of cancer death among middle-aged black men in just two decades is extraordinary, but it is immediately tempered by the knowledge that death rates are still higher among black men than white men for nearly every major cancer and for all cancers combined," John Seffrin, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society, said in a society news release.

Today on WebMD

Colorectal cancer cells
New! I AM Not Cancer Facebook Group
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Ovarian cancer illustration
Real Cancer Perspectives
Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
what is your cancer risk
colorectal cancer treatment advances
breast cancer overview slideshow
prostate cancer overview
lung cancer overview slideshow
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
Actor Michael Douglas