Cancer Death Rates Fall: Early Detection is Key

According to a study published on January 5th by the American Cancer Society, between 1991 and 2014 we have seen a 25 percent decrease amongst deaths in the United States caused by cancer. That’s an estimated 2.1 million people. The decreases were most noticeable amongst four types of cancer: lung, breast, prostate, and colorectal. These significant reductions have been attributed by researchers to more advanced medical technology and decreases in smoking amongst Americans. The studies show that lung cancer deaths in men decreased by 43 percent and 17 percent in women. As for colorectal cancer an overall 51 percent decrease in deaths has been detected.

Due to the different types of cancer that are present amongst men and women, researchers say that men are 20 percent more likely to get cancer, 40 percent more likely to die than women. A lot of the variance is due to culture, for example lung cancer is declining in men twice as fast than in women. This is because women picked up smoking later and are also slower to quit.

The report states that due to more clinical and basic research to improve detection rate and treatments the American Cancer Society has hopes that the decline in cancer deaths will remain steady within the next two decades. This was published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. We can also see a significant break down amongst races, not only genders. On the American Cancer Society’s website one can find a database of information based on present studies. The latest study states:

Over the past three decades, the 5-year relative survival rate for all cancers combined increased 20 percentage points among whites and 24 percentage points among blacks, yet it remains substantially lower for blacks (68% versus 61%, respectively). Improvements in survival reflect improvements in treatment, as well as earlier diagnosis for some cancers. Survival varies greatly by cancer type and stage at diagnosis.

Apart from the hope that the ACS has for decreases in deaths, the estimated new cases of cancer in the united states for 2017 is expected at about 1,688,780 with an average of 1,650 deaths a day. Overall there is hope amongst researchers that with continually applied knowledge we can improve treatment for the people of the united states.