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Report says half a million cancer deaths have been averted since death rate drop
Date:2/19/2008

ATLANTA Feb. 20, 2008 The American Cancer Societys annual cancer statistics report finds that death rates from cancer in the United States have decreased by 18.4 percent among men and by 10.5 percent among women since mortality rates began to decline in the early 1990s, which translates to the avoidance of more than half a million actual cancer deaths (534,500) in the United States. Society epidemiologists predict that in the U.S. in 2008 there will be 1,437,180 new cancer cases (745,180 in men and 692,000 in women) and 565,650 cancer deaths (294,120 among men and 271,530 among women).

The findings come from Cancer Statistics 2008, published in the March/April issue of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, as well as in the 57th edition of its companion publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2008.

Despite a continuing decline in the cancer death rate from 2004 to 2005, there was an increase of 5,424 actual deaths (559,312 cancer deaths in 2005 compared to 553,888 cancer deaths in 2004). This increase follows a decrease in the number of cancer deaths in the two previous years. The change is largely due to a smaller decline in the cancer death rate between 2004 and 2005 compared with that in the two previous time periods. From 2004 to 2005, overall cancer mortality dropped about 1 percent, compared to a 2 percent drop from both 2002 to 2003 and 2003 to 2004. With respect to the four major cancer sites, colorectal cancer death rates decreased by about 3 percent from 2004 to 2005, compared to about 6 percent from 2003 to 2004. The decrease in death rates for cancers of the lung and bronchus and prostate in men and breast in women was also smaller from 2004 to 2005 than from 2003 to 2004. It is important to understand that for the number of cancer deaths to decrease, the decline in the overall cancer mortality rate must be large enough to offset the increasing numbers due to growth and aging of the population.

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Contact: David Sampson
david.sampson@cancer.org
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

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