U.S. Cancer Death Rates Falling

The American Cancer Society recently announced from 2000 to 2009, overall death rates fell by 24 percent in men and 16 percent in women -- saving about 1.2 million people.

The American Cancer Society recently reported the death rate from cancer in the United States has fallen 20 percent from its peak in 1991. The society's "Cancer Statistics, 2013," published in the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians estimated the total number of new cancer cases and deaths expected in the country this year.

The estimate is 1,660,290 new cancer cases and 580,350 deaths from cancer during 2013. ACS said from 2000 to 2009, overall death rates fell by 24 percent in men and 16 percent in women -- saving about 1.2 million people.

Death rates are falling for lung, colon, breast, and prostate cancers, which cause the most cancer deaths, according to the society.

"In 2009, Americans had a 20 percent lower risk of death from cancer than they did in 1991, a milestone that shows we truly are creating more birthdays," said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., CEO of the society. "But we must also recognize that not all demographic groups have benefited equally from these gains, particularly those diagnosed with colorectal or breast cancer, where earlier detection and better treatments are credited for the improving trends. We can and must close this gap so that people are not punished for having the misfortune of being born poor and disadvantaged."

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