According to the American Cancer Society's annual statistics report, cancer death rate has dropped by 22 percent in last the 2 decades in the United States. The report states that there has been a significant drop in cancer induced deaths in almost all states. Southern states have reported the smallest decline - 15% - as compared to the northern states where the drop was quite significant. In terms of numbers, almost a whopping 1.5 million people in US have been spared falling prey to the deadly disease in a span of 20 years.
"The continuing drops we are seeing in cancer mortality are reason to celebrate, but not to stop," said John Seffrin, PhD, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. Largely driven by rapid increases in lung cancer deaths among men as a consequence of the tobacco epidemic, the overall cancer death rate rose during most of the 20th century, peaking in 1991.
Decline was more prominent in men over women: During the most recent five years (2007-2011), the average annual decline in cancer death rates was slightly larger among men (1.8 per cent) than women (1.4 per cent).
These declines are driven by continued decline in death rates for the four major cancer sites: lung, breast, prostate, and colon.
Lung Cancer: Death rates declined 36 per cent between 1990 and 2011 among males and 11 per cent between 2002 and 2011 among females due to reduced tobacco use.
Breast Cancer: Death rates for breast cancer (among women) are down more than one-third (35 per cent) from peak rates.
Prostate Cancer and others: Prostate and colorectal cancer death rates are each down by nearly half (47 per cent), the report said.
What lead to the decline? The report suggests that the United States has seen this steady decline in the cancer death rate as the result of fewer Americans smoking. Another reason could be advances in cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment.
The future: Despite this, the report also estimated fresh 1,658,370 cancer cases and 589,430 cancer deaths in the US in 2015. Prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers will account for about one-half of all cases in men, with prostate cancer alone accounting for about one-quarter of new diagnoses. The three most commonly diagnosed types of cancer among women in 2015 will be breast, lung, and colorectal cancer, accounting for one-half of all cases in women.
Inputs from IANS and PTI