Cancer Incidence on Two-Decade Decline, According to ACS Report

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The American Cancer Society (ACS) has published its annual review of cancer statistics in “Cancer Statistics 2014,” and the overall message is that the death rate from cancer continues to decline, although not all of it was good news.

The ACS bases its annual review on analysis of cancer incidence data from the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries and mortality data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics.

Among the statistics:

  • Over the past two decades, cancer mortality has dropped 20 percent. That translates to 1,340,400 cancer deaths avoided.
  • The magnitude of the decline in cancer mortality rates varies widely across age, race and sex, although black males experienced the largest decline in cancer mortality within every 10-year age group.
  • The combined cancer death rate has been continuously declining for two decades, from a peak of 215.1 in 1991 to 171.8 in 2010.
  • In 2014, an estimated 1,665,540 new cancer diagnoses will be made in the U.S., and an estimated 585,720 Americans will die of cancer.
  • Among new cancers in 2014, the anatomical sites where the number of cancers will be highest are the genital system (338,450), the digestive system (289,610), respiratory system (242,550), breast (235,030), and urinary system (141,610).
  • Lung cancer will account for the highest number of deaths (159,260), followed by colorectum (50,310), breast (40,000), pancreas (35,590) and prostate (29,480).
  • Although cancer incidence has declined, two subtypes of cancer show an increase: thyroid cancer and liver/bile duct cancer.

ACS Chief Medical Officer Otis Brawley stressed that some simple lifestyle choices, such as getting more servings of fruits and vegetables in one’s daily diet along with smoking cessation, could go a long way in further reducing the burden of cancer in the United States.

Sources: ACS, CA: Cancer J Clin, MedPage Today


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