Cancer death rates drop, with few exceptions | Connect FM | Local news radio


(NEW YORK) – Cancer death rates continue to decline, with declining melanoma and lung cancer death rates leading the trend, according to a new report.

The report, released Thursday by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, includes data from 2001 to 2018, meaning it does not reflect cancer incidence or death rates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decline in cancer death rates was true for men and women of all racial and ethnic groups. The report showed a decrease in death rates among 11 of the 19 most common cancers in men and 14 of the 20 most common cancers in women. This overall decrease translates into an average decrease in the cancer death rate of 2.2% per year for men and an average decrease of 1.7% per year for women.

Experts attributed the decline in deaths to reduced smoking rates and targeted cancer treatments.

“The continuing decline in cancer death rates should be gratifying for the cancer research community, as it proves that scientific advancements over several decades are making a real difference in population-level outcomes,” Dr Norman Sharpless , director of the National Cancer Institute one of the groups that collaborated on the report, said in a statement.

Despite these gains, death rates for a few types of cancer, including cancers of the uterus, brain, nervous system and pancreas, have increased.

Additionally, cancer incidence rates in women, children, adolescents and young adults increased between 2014 and 2018, according to the report. The most common cancer in adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 39 was breast cancer in women. In children under 15, the most common cancers were leukemia, lymphoma, and cancers of the brain and nervous system. Although cancer incidence increases in women, in general cancer incidence rates are higher in men.

“I think we could make even more improvements if we tackle obesity, which has the potential to overtake smoking to become the main modifiable factor associated with cancer,” added Sharpless.

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