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Cancer incidence and mortality drops among American men and women, according to annual report

The overall incidence of cancer and death due to cancer dropped for the first time in men and women in the United States, according to a report published in the November 25 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Each year the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries provide a report on current cancer trends in the United States. Because smoking accounts for approximately 30 percent of all cancer deaths nationwide, this year's report includes state-by-state information on lung cancer incidence and mortality, as well as on trends of tobacco use and control.

The overall decline in incidence and mortality is due largely to decreases in the three most common cancers in men (prostate, lung, and colorectal) and in two of the three most common in women (breast and colorectal cancer). Although lung cancer mortality in women has stabilized nationally since 2003, the only state to show a statistically significant decline was California. By contrast, lung cancer incidence or mortality increased in 18 states, most of which are in the Midwest or South.

"The observed decrease in the incidence and death rates from all cancers combined in men and women overall and in nearly all racial and ethnic groups is highly encouraging," the authors write. "However, this must be seen as a starting point rather than a destination. A dual approach will be needed to sustain and extend this progress into the future. First, the application of existing knowledge must be improved so that evidence-based interventions reach all segments of the population. Second, ongoing research is needed to improve our current methods of prevention, early detection, and treatment."


Contact: Liz Savage
Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Page: 1

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