Cancer Death Rate in U.S. Decreased Continuously From 1991 to 2016

Cancer Death Rate in U.S. Decreased Continuously From 1991 to 2016

The cancer rate in the United States dropped continuously over a 25-year period, representing a 27 percent decline, according to a study published Tuesday.

That translates to about 2.6 million fewer cancer deaths total than would have been expected if death rates stayed at their peak, which was seen in 1991, according to the study.

In contrast to declines for the most common cancers, death rates rose from 2012 through 2016 for liver (1.2% per year in men; 2.6% per year in women), pancreatic (men only, by 0.3% per year), and uterine corpus (endometrial) cancers (2.1% per year), as well as for cancers of the brain and other nervous system, soft tissue (including heart), and sites within the oral cavity and pharynx associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV).

The latest numbers show the cancer death rate has dropped 27 percent since 1991 - with the lung cancer death rate down almost 50 percent among men over that time.

Between 1990 and 2016, the lung cancer-related death rate has dropped 48% in men, while this rate has dropped 23% in women from 2002 to 2016.

The cancer incidence rate was stable in women and declined by approximately 2% per year in men over the past decade of available data (2006-2015). So while the PSA testing may have surfaced cases that didn't actually need treatment, it may also have prevented some cancer deaths, the report suggests.

Cancer Rates by Age An estimated 11,060 children aged 1 to 14 years will be diagnosed with cancer in 2019; the estimated number of cancer deaths in this age group is 1190. That corresponds to more than 4,800 new cases and nearly 1,700 deaths per day, according to the study.

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But although the racial gap in cancer deaths is slowly narrowing, socioeconomic disparities are growing, she said.

But it's not all good news. "So we've been wondering if that's going to happen for cancer as well, but so far it hasn't". While she celebrated the progress made, she also noted that the report showed that where a patient lives can dictate their chances of surviving cancer and that many patients cannot access high-quality care or be involved in research.

"I would say that this is the best data out there for the oncology community and those concerned with healthcare in America", said Theodorescu, who was not involved in the study.

Advances in diagnosis and prevention, as well as increased efforts to combat smoking, have led to a drop in mortality due to cancer in the United States.

Of the most common types of cancer in the US, all the ones with increasing death rates are linked to obesity, including cancers of the thyroid, pancreas and uterus.

Some of the counties with the highest poverty are in rural areas of south Georgia, and "this is something that we've become aware of here at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University", Curran said.

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