Cancer deaths hit milestone, a 25-year decline

An image of human breast cancer cells

According a report published Tuesday (Jan. 8) by researchers at the American Cancer Society, there were 215.1 cancer-related deaths per 100,000 people in the USA in 1991.

While cancer remains the No. 2 cause of death in the US, better detection and treatment along with lower smoking rates have all contributed to shrinking rates. "Cancer Statistics, 2019", published in the American Cancer Society's journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, estimates the numbers of new cancer cases and deaths expected in the U.S. this year.

The death rate from cancer has been steadily declining in the United States since 1991, when it peaked at 215.1 deaths per 100,000 population. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city will expand health coverage to an estimated 600,000 residents now without insurance, The Washington Post reported.

Paskett pointed out that "we have made great strides".

The decline in cancer mortality over the past two decades is primarily the result of steady reductions in smoking and advances in early detection and treatment, which are reflected in the declines for the four major cancers: lung, breast, prostate, and colorectal. That gap has narrowed from a peak of 33% in 1993.

Racial and ethnic differences in cancer burden reflect several factors related to socioeconomic status. Brain and nervous system tumors make up 26% of pediatric cancers, yet they are the most common diagnoses among adolescents (aged 15 to 19 years), accounting for 21% of adolescent cancer cases. Cervical cancer deaths are twice as high for women in poor counties now, compared with women in affluent counties.

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Where the poor have access to screening, these disparities can be eliminated, she suggested.

A cancer typically found in older adults has been killing younger people for reasons that has puzzled cancer epidemiologists in the past.

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

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.

Breast cancer death rates declined 40% from 1989 to 2016 among women. In children, leukemia accounts for the majority of cancer cases, making up 28% of all childhood cancers. One-quarter of all cancer deaths are due to lung cancer. 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%.

However, this age group now represents one-third of all male cancer survivors and one-fourth of all female cancer survivors. Along with an aging population, World Health Organization cites economies where causes for cancer were tied more to lifestyle than poverty. Today's show is sponsored by Indeed, U.S.

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