Navigation Links
Cancer Deaths Declining, Especially Among Young

Advances in treatment, prevention and detection behind progress, study finds

THURSDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer death rates are declining, especially among younger people, new research shows.

And while cancer is poised to become the number one killer in the United States, topping heart disease, that is because deaths from heart disease have decreased faster than for cancer.

"Older Americans have only experienced decreased [cancer] mortality very recently, but younger Americans have been seeing benefits for a long time so, as a result, everyone born in the last 60 years has been reaping the benefits of efforts in prevention research and treatment research and early detection research," said Dr. Eric Kort, lead author of a study appearing in the Aug. 15 issue of Cancer Research.

Kort, a pediatrics resident at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich., completed the study while a research scientist at the Van Andel Research Institute, also in Grand Rapids.

"This is pretty impressive. We have made enormous strides," said Dr. Jay Brooks, chairman of hematology/oncology at Ochsner Health System in Baton Rouge, La.

Statistics on cancer rates are often adjusted for age, which skews incidence and death figures up because the population is aging and more cancer deaths occur in this older population.

"If you just take the average cancer mortality rate, by and large, that's only looking at older Americans because that's where most of the mortality is," Kort explained. "It's analogous to saying we're going to see if a train is changing directions by watching the back of the caboose and, until we see the caboose move, we're not going to say we're seeing any change."

This approach has led to criticism of gains made in the "war against cancer," although many recent studies have had good news, including an American Cancer Society report from May which found an encouraging 19.2 percent drop in cancer death rates among men from 1990 to 2005 and an 11.4 percent drop in women's cancer death rates during the same time period.

These researchers looked at mortality rates since 1955 in specific age groups, finding that U.S. cancer mortality rates have decreased overall, first in children and younger adults then more recently, in older Americans as well.

The youngest age group showed the most improvement, with a 25.9 percent decline in death rates for each successive decade, while death rates in the older age groups decreased a respectable 6.8 percent each decade. The difference likely reflects early advances in cancer treatment affecting malignancies, such as childhood leukemia, seen in younger people.

Starting in 1925, people born in later decades were less likely to die of cancer than people born in preceding decades. The death rate from cancer for people aged 30 to 59 and born between 1945 and 1954 was 29 percent lower than for people in this age group born 30 years earlier.

"The progress we've made was helpful first to younger individuals and then, as they got older, they continued to enjoy lower rates of mortality, but it's not until just recently that this became apparent in the average rates that people always talk about," Kort said. "We've made so much progress against cancer, we have transformed the mortality experience across the entire life span starting with people born 50 years ago."

This is despite the fact that incidence has remained stable or increased, except in the case of lung cancer.

"People quitting smoking has had an enormous impact. We have also made major inroads in cervical cancer death rates," Brooks said.

The authors pointed to successful chemotherapy regimens for childhood leukemias, then in lymphomas and testicular cancers of early adulthood.

Now, screening programs for breast, prostate and colon cancer are also starting to bear fruit.

"The traditional way of presenting this data is only presenting one aspect of the story of cancer mortality," Kort said. "What we're doing is filling in the rest of the picture."

More information

The National Cancer Institute has a different set of cancer mortality data.

SOURCES: Eric Kort, M.D., pediatrics resident, Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, Grand Rapids, Mich., and former research scientist, Laboratory of Molecular Epidemiology, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids; Jay Brooks, M.D., chairman, hematology/oncology, Ochsner Health System, Baton Rouge, La.; Aug. 15, 2009, Cancer Research

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Conventional prognostic factors fail to explain better prostate cancer survival in most Asian men
2. Survival differences by race most apparent in advanced stages of breast cancer
3. MRI finds breast cancer before it becomes dangerous
4. Investigators uncover intriguing clues to why persistent acid reflux sometimes turns into cancer
5. Pathway links inflammation, angiogenesis and breast cancer
6. Radiologists encouraged to look beyond cancer for clinically unseen diseases
7. Diet high in meat, fat and refined grains linked to risk for colon cancer recurrence, death
8. Immune deficiency linked to a type of eye cancer
9. Drop in breast cancer incidence linked to hormone use, not mammograms
10. Breast cancer prevention practices vary across Canada
11. First biomarker discovered that predicts prostate cancer outcome
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Cancer Deaths Declining, Especially Among Young 
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Chiropractic student Katie Benson received a $2,500 ... Park, Kansas. Benson, a fifth-trimester student in the university’s College of Chiropractic, accepted ... 16. , “Katie is very excited and greatly appreciative to receive the Standard ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Sir Grout of ... the TrustDale certification. The award recognizes good companies for excellence in service and ... and grout, and hard surface restoration company earned this recognition after a thorough ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... Bibliomotion is thrilled to announce the launch ... and Diversity by Nancy M. Schlichting, Chief Executive Officer of Henry Ford ... address the needs of patients and their families, shaped my desire to improve the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... , ... Dr. Kevin Day, local family chiropractor in Warsaw , is ... season. During the Indiana winter months, Vitamin D deficiency can lead to Seasonal ... want to help provide the tools needed to combat it this year! , “Stress ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... life, Don Peck’s mother wondered if she was a descendant of Samuel Fuller, a passenger ... 25-year search for information, Don and his aunt discovered that she was not, in fact, ... it was Don’s father who was descended from not one, but four passengers on the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. ("WuXi" or the ... capability and technology platform company serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, ... China and the United States ... meeting of shareholders held today, the Company,s shareholders voted ... the previously announced agreement and plan of merger (the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  In the pharmaceutical industry, companies want ... to quickly uncover new insights, tactics and strategies that ... --> However, organizations often find it ... and ensure that all rules and regulations are met ... major barrier to efficiently launching market research projects is ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  DILON Diagnostics and GE ... an agreement for DILON to distribute GE,s Discovery NM750b ... globe. The signing of this distribution agreement will provide Dilon,s ... Breast Imaging system and is considered an initial step ... healthcare solutions for clinicians and their patients. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: