The cancer death rate in the United States has fallen 33% since 1991, a new report says, in part due to advances in treatment, earlier detection and less smoking.


A new report from the American Cancer Society reports that the death rate from cancer in the United States has fallen steadily over the past three decades.

The cancer death rate in the United States has fallen 33% since 1991, which corresponds to an estimated 3.8 million deaths averted, according to the report, published Thursday in Cairo. Chris: Cancer Journal for Physicians. The rate of lives lost to cancer continued to decline in the latest year for which data is available, between 2019 and 2020, by 1.5%.

Karen Knudsen, CEO of the American Cancer Society, said the 33% drop in the death rate from cancer is “really massive.”

The report attributes this steady progress to improvements in cancer treatment, a decrease in smoking and an increase in early detection.

“New discoveries in prevention, early detection, and treatment have led to real and meaningful gains in many of the 200 diseases we call cancer,” Knudsen said.

In their report, researchers from the American Cancer Society noted that HPV vaccines are associated with reduced deaths from cancer. Human papillomavirus, or HPV, infections can cause cervical cancer and other types of cancer, and vaccination has been linked to decreased new cases of cervical cancer.

Among women in their early 20s, there was a 65% drop in rates of cervical cancer from 2012 through 2019, said Dr William Dahut, the association’s chief scientific officer, “which follows exactly when the oncolytic virus vaccines were used.” human papilloma.

“There are other types of cancers associated with HPV – whether that’s head and neck cancers or anal cancers – so there is optimism that this will have significance beyond that,” he said.

The lifetime probability of being diagnosed with any invasive cancer is estimated at 40.9% for men and 39.1% for women in the United States, according to the new report.

The report also includes projections for 2023, estimating that there could be nearly 2 million new cancer cases — that’s about 5,000 cases per day — and more than 600,000 cancer deaths in the United States this year.

During the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people skipped regular medical check-ups, some Doctors have seen a rise in advanced cancer cases In the wake of late examinations and treatment of the epidemic.

Knudsen said the American Cancer Society researchers were unable to track “this decrease in screening that we all know we’ve seen across the country during the pandemic.” “At this time next year, I believe our report will provide some initial insights into the impact of the pandemic on cancer incidence and mortality.”

The new report includes data from national programs and registries, including those at the National Cancer Institute, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.

The data showed that the cancer death rate in the United States rose through most of the 20th century, largely due to an increase in smoking-related lung cancer deaths. Then, with decreased smoking rates and greater improvements in early detection and treatment of some types of cancer, there has been a decline in the cancer death rate from its peak in 1991.

Since then, the pace of decline has slowly accelerated.

The new report found that the five-year survival rate for all cancers combined increased from 49% for diagnoses in the mid-70s to 68% for diagnoses during 2012-18.

According to the report, the types of cancer that now have the highest survival rates are thyroid (98%), prostate (97%), testicular (95%), and melanoma (94%).

Current survival rates are the lowest for pancreatic cancers, at 12%.

The findings about a decrease in cancer deaths show “continued good news,” said Dr. Otis Brawley, a professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins University who was not involved in the research.

“The biggest reason for the decline that began in 1991 was smoking prevalence in the United States that began to decline in 1965,” said Brawley, former chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.

“This is why we started to decline in 1991, and that decline has continued because the prevalence of smokers in the United States has continued to decline,” he said. “Now, in some diseases, our ability to treat has improved, and there are some people who don’t die from treatment.”

Although the death rate from cancer is steadily declining, the new report also highlights that new cases of breast, uterine and prostate cancer have been “alarming” and increasing in the United States.

infection rates Breast cancer in women It’s been increasing about 0.5% annually since the mid-2000s, according to the report.

The incidence of uterine body cancer has increased by 1% per year since the mid-2000s among women aged 50 and over and approximately 2% per year since at least the mid-1990s in younger women.

The incidence of prostate cancer rose 3% annually from 2014 through 2019, after two decades of decline.

Knudsen described prostate cancer as “atypical” since the earlier decline in its incidence was reversed, and appears to be driven by an advanced disease prognosis.

The American Cancer Society on Thursday announced the launch of the Impact initiative, geared toward improving prostate cancer incidence and death rates through funding new research programs and expanding support for patients, among other efforts.

“Unfortunately, prostate cancer remains the number one malignancy most frequently diagnosed among men in this country, with nearly 290,000 men expected to be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year,” Knudsen said. Cancer is diagnosed when it is confined to the prostate Five-year survival rate “Over 99%,” she said, but for metastatic prostate cancer, there is no permanent cure.

“Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men in this country,” she said. “What we’re reporting is not only an increase in the incidence of prostate cancer across all population groups but a 5% year-over-year increase in men diagnosed with more advanced disease. So we’re not catching these cancers earlier when we have a chance to treat men for prostate cancer.” “.

Cancers of the breast, uterus, and prostate also have wide racial variation, with communities of color having higher mortality rates and lower survival rates.

In 2020, the risk of total death from cancer was 12% higher for black people than for white people, according to the new report.

“Not every individual or every family is affected equally,” Knudsen said.

For example, “Black men unfortunately have a 70% increased incidence of prostate cancer compared to white men and a two- to four-fold increase in prostate cancer mortality relative to any other racial and ethnic group in the United States,” he said.

The data in the new report show “significant and consistent” progress against cancer, said Dr. Ernest Hook, vice president of cancer prevention and population sciences at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, in an email.

“Cancer is preventable in many cases and can be detected at an early stage with better outcomes in many others. When necessary, treatments are improving in terms of their efficacy and safety,” Hook wrote.

However, it is time that we take health inequality seriously and make it a much larger national priority. Inequalities in cancer risk, cancer care and cancer outcomes are intolerable, he said, and we should not be content with these regular reminders of avoidable inequalities.” “With deliberate and dedicated efforts, I believe we can eliminate these disparities and make greater progress in ending cancer.” .”

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