Nearly 900,000 Fewer Cancer Deaths Since 1990:
FRIDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- There has been a steady drop
in cancer deaths in the United States in the past two decades, two
American Cancer Society reports find.
This translates into a dramatic decline between 1990 and 2007 --
nearly 900,000 fewer people felled by the disease, the society
"It's getting better for the majority of cancers," said Dr. Iuliana Shapira, director of cancer genetics at Monter Cancer Center at the North Shore-LIJ Health System in New Hyde Park, NY.
Early detection and better treatments are having an impact on
cancer death rates, said Shapira, who was not involved in the
report. "More people are living with cancer... We are doing better
than we did," she said.
Ahmedin Jemal, strategic director of cancer surveillance at the
American Cancer Society, added that a decline in the rate of
smoking among Americans is also responsible for the drop in deaths
Since 1990, he pointed out, cancer deaths have plummeted by
about 22 percent in men and 14 percent in women.
Most recently, the rate of cancer incidence in men has hit a
plateau after shrinking 1.9 percent each year from 2001 to 2005.
For in women, cancer rates have been dropping steadily, 0.6 percent
each year since 1998.
Since 1990, deaths from cancer have declined in almost all
racial/ethnic groups and since 1998 in both men and women. The only
exception is among American Indian/Alaska Native women, where the
rate hasn't changed, according to the reports.
Among black and Hispanic men, decreases in cancer deaths during
this period were the largest during this time, dropping 2.6 percent
and 2.5 percent, respectively.
According to the latest data, lung cancer death rates in women
have dropped significantly, after increasing continuously since the
But even with these striking downturns, not all segments of the
population are seeing equal benefits, partly because of ongoing
disparities in cancer care, Jemal said.
Those with the least education, which is a marker for
socioeconomic status, are more than twice as likely to die from
cancer than the most educated. If these disparities did not exist,
more than 60,000 people aged 20 to 64 would not have died from
cancer in 2007 alone, the researchers said.
In 2007, cancer deaths among the least educated were 2.6 times
higher than those among the most educated, according to the report.
The disparity was largest for lung cancer, where the deaths were
five times higher among the least educated than among the
These differences reflect the differences in smoking rates -- 31
percent among men with 12 or fewer years of education smoke,
compared with 12 percent of college graduates and 5 percent of men
with graduate degrees, the American Cancer Society noted.
These data are included in two new reports from the Society:
Cancer Statistics 2011 and
Cancer Facts & Figures 2011.
Other highlights of the reports:
- Cancer kills Americans at the rate of about 1,500 people a
- Lung cancer accounts for more deaths than any other cancer
among both men and women.
- The probability of being diagnosed with an invasive cancer
during your life is 44 percent for men and 38 percent for
- For men, prostate, lung and bronchus (respiratory system
tissue), and colon cancer account for about 52 percent of all newly
diagnosed cancers. Prostate cancer accounts for 29 percent of cases
- The three most commonly types of cancer in women in 2011 are
breast, lung and bronchus, and colon, which, when combined, account
for about 53 percent of cancer cases in women. Breast cancer alone
accounts for 30 percent of the cases.
- Lung and bronchus, breast, and colon combined account for
almost 50 percent of cancer deaths among men and women.
- Declines in colon cancer deaths reflect increased screening for
- For men, the reduction in deaths from lung, prostate and colon
cancer make up about 80 percent of the total decrease in the cancer
- For women, a decline in deaths from breast and colon cancers
accounts for about 60 percent of the decrease.
This year, the American Cancer Society expects 1,596,670 new
cancer cases and 571,950 deaths from the disease in the United
For more information on cancer, visit the
Copyright © 2011
. All rights reserved.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.