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Cancer Decline

January 28, 2013

Cancer deaths have declined significantly since 1991.



Cancer takes a dive. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Death rates from cancer in the United States have dropped 20 percent since their 1991 peak. This according to a new report from the American Cancer Society, which includes data through 2009. Director of Surveillance Information Rebecca Siegel says the drops are even steeper for the four biggest cancer sites: colorectal, breast, lung, and prostate.

REBECCA SIEGEL (American Cancer Society):

One of the biggest influences, of course, is the decrease in the number of people who are smoking. And we see that influence not only on lung cancer, but on about 20 other cancers that are also associated with smoking.

Breakthroughs in treatment and early detection have also helped. The report says that some types of cancer do have rising death rates, including melanoma, and cancer of the liver, thyroid, and pancreas. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.