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Nearly 900,000 Fewer Cancer Deaths Since 1990: Report
Date:6/17/2011

ing equal benefits, partly because of ongoing disparities in cancer care, Jemal said.

Those with the least education, which is a marker for socioeconomic status, are more than twice as likely to die from cancer than the most educated. If these disparities did not exist, more than 60,000 people aged 20 to 64 would not have died from cancer in 2007 alone, the researchers said.

In 2007, cancer deaths among the least educated were 2.6 times higher than those among the most educated, according to the report. The disparity was largest for lung cancer, where the deaths were five times higher among the least educated than among the most educated.

These differences reflect the differences in smoking rates -- 31 percent among men with 12 or fewer years of education smoke, compared with 12 percent of college graduates and 5 percent of men with graduate degrees, the American Cancer Society noted.

These data are included in two new reports from the Society: Cancer Statistics 2011 and Cancer Facts & Figures 2011.

Other highlights of the reports:

  • Cancer kills Americans at the rate of about 1,500 people a day.
  • Lung cancer accounts for more deaths than any other cancer among both men and women.
  • The probability of being diagnosed with an invasive cancer during your life is 44 percent for men and 38 percent for women.
  • For men, prostate, lung and bronchus (respiratory system tissue), and colon cancer account for about 52 percent of all newly diagnosed cancers. Prostate cancer accounts for 29 percent of cases in men.
  • The three most commonly types of cancer in women in 2011 are breast, lung and bronchus, and colon, which, when combined, account for about 53 percent of cancer cases in women. Breast cancer alone accounts for 30 percent of the cases.
  • Lung and bronchus, breast, and colon combined account for almost 50 percent of cancer deaths among men and women.
  • Declines in col
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