U.S. cancer death rate hits milestone – but it's not all good news
11 January, 2019, 20:43
The death rate from cancer in the United States has declined steadily over the past 25 years, according to annual statistics reporting from the American Cancer Society.
Cancer is the second-leading killer in the USA, and it's poised to soon pass heart disease for that top slot.
The study from the American Cancer Society found there were approximately 2.6 million fewer cancer deaths in the USA since reaching a peak of 215 deaths per 100,000 people.
Data were collected from 47 states and the District of Columbia for this report. This translates to an estimated 2,629,200 fewer cancer deaths than would have occurred if mortality rates had remained at their peak.
Unfortunately, there's some bad news in the new report.
Lung cancer death rates declined 48% from 1990 to 2016 among men and 23% from 2002 to 2016 among women. From 1991 to 2016, there was a continuous decrease of 27 percent in the overall cancer death rate, representing about 2,629,200 fewer cancer deaths than expected based on peak rates. New lung cancer diagnoses have also dropped 3% in men and 1.5% in women between 2011 and 2015. The cancer death rate (2007 - 2016) declined by 1.4% per year in women and 1.8% per year in men. According to the report, the cancer death rate rose for most of the 20th century, driven in large part by lung cancer deaths associated with tobacco use. However, in adults under the age of 55 years, there was an increase of about 2% in new cases per year since the mid-1990s. Those infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) are at the greatest risk; baby boomers, or adults born between 1945 and 1965, make up 75% of HCV-infected patients. However, this has narrowed the gap from 1993 when the rate was 33%.
The drop in cancer mortality is mostly due to steady reductions in smoking and advances in early detection and treatment. "Facilitating access to healthcare has been shown to reduce or even eliminate racial and SES disparities". Among cancers, it has long killed the most people, especially men.
But although the racial gap in cancer deaths is slowly narrowing, socioeconomic disparities are growing, she said. But cancer is the leading cause of death in many states and among Hispanics, Asian Americans and people under 80 years of age. In 2019, an estimated 11,060 children in this age group will be diagnosed with cancer and 1,190 will die from it. Leukemia accounts for nearly a third (28%) of all childhood cancers, followed by brain and other nervous system tumors (26%). The estimates are some of the most widely quoted cancer statistics in the world.
The result showed that the 114 women who developed colorectal cancer in the study tended to have a higher BMIs. Between 2008 and 2014, the 5-year relative survival rate for children rose to 83% from the previous 58% in the mid-1970s and rose to 85% for adolescents from the previous rate of 68%.
Life expectancy in the United States may be experiencing a bit of a dip as of late, but cancer isn't the culprit. One-quarter of all cancer deaths are due to lung cancer.
However, this age group now represents one-third of all male cancer survivors and one-fourth of all female cancer survivors.
Cancer risk increases with age, and the rapidly growing older population will increase demand for cancer care.
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