Published on: 9 Jan,2017

Article Source: American Cancer Society (ACS)

Abstract: A steady decline in smoking and advances in early cancer detection and treatment over the past 2 decades has resulted in 25 percent drop in cancer death rate in US. The rate decrease means 2.1 million lesser deaths between 1991 and 2014.

Complete Article:

A steady decline in smoking and advances in early cancer detection and treatment over the past 2 decades has resulted in 25 percent drop in cancer death rate in

US The rate decrease means 2.1 million lesser deaths between 1991 and 2014.

The data released as a result of Cancer Statistics 2017, the American Cancer Society’s comprehensive annual report on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival and has been published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.


Improvements in cancer mortality rate

According to the report statistics, there will be 1,688,780 new cancer cases in 2017 while 600,920 will lose the battle against cancer this year. The data available over the past decade shows that the overall cancer incidence rate was stable in women while it reduced by nearly 2% per year in men along with an overall annual decline by about 1.5% in cancer death rate in both men and women.

The number of cancer deaths were 215.1 per 100,000 population in 1991 which decreased to 161.2 per 100,000 population in 2014 according to the recent data.The steady decline is reported as a result of the significant decline in smoking and the recent advances in detection and treatment of tumors and is pronounced by decreasing death rates for the four major cancer sites: lung (- 43% between 1990 and 2014 among males and -17% between 2002 and 2014 among females), breast (-38% from 1989 to 2014), prostate (-51% from 1993 to 2014), and colorectal (-51% from 1976 to 2014). Despite this decline, lung, prostate, breast and colorectal cancers continue to be the leading cause of cancer deaths in US which accounts for 46% deaths among men and women where more than 1 out of every 4 deaths occur due to lung cancer.

The report also finds significant gender disparities in incidence and mortality of cancer. Taking all forms together, the frequency of cancer incidence is found to be 20% higher in men than in women, while the mortality is 40% higher in men.

Gender disparities in cancer

The gender differences in cancer death rate shows the variation in the distribution of cancers that occur in men and women which is further prevalent due to differing risk for cancer in the two genders. Liver cancer, a highly fatal form of cancer, is three times more common in men than in women which

reflects higher Hepatitis C virus infection, excess alcohol consumption and greater historical smoking prevalence in men.

The greatest disparities in the two genders is

found for the cancers of the esophagus, larynx, and bladder, for which the incidence and the death rates are about 4-fold higher in men. The incidence of melanoma is about 60% higher in men compared to women, while melanoma death rates are more than double in men compared to women.

Racial disparities in cancer

Racial disparities in cancer mortality continue to drop. The cancer mortality risk in black men has declined to 21% in 2014 which was 47% in 1990. The black/white disparity also fell in women which accounts to 20% in 1998 to 13% in 2014.

Although the cancer death rate remained 15% higher in blacks than in whites in 2014, increasing access to care as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contributed significantly to this improvement, the report speculated.

The proportion of blacks without the insurance dropped in half, from 21% to 11%between 2010 to 2015, while for Hispanics the rate fell from 31% to 16%.

Continuing battle against cancer

“The continuing drops in the cancer death rate are a powerful sign of the potential we have to reduce cancer’s deadly toll,” said Otis W. Brawley, M.D., ACS chief medical officer. “Continuing that success will require more clinical and basic research to improve early detection and treatment, as well as creative new strategies to increase healthy behaviors nationwide. Finally, we need to consistently apply existing knowledge in cancer control across all segments of the population, particularly to disadvantaged groups.”

The researchers of American Cancer Society have been publishing the Cancer Statistics every year since 1967 to inform and guide clinicians, investigators, and others in public health so that they can prioritize their efforts to reduce the load of cancer. It is also one of the most highly cited scientific journal articles every year.
Journal Reference:

Rebecca L. Siegel, Kimberly D. Miller, AhmedinJemal. Cancer Statistics, 2017CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 2016; DOI: 10.3322/caac.21387
Note: The above story is based on materials provided by American Cancer Society.