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U.S. Cancer Cases, Deaths Continue to Drop
Date:12/7/2009

al, liver and esophageal cancer, along with leukemia, myeloma and melanoma, are increasing.

Among women, cases of breast, colorectal, uterine, ovarian, cervical and oral cavity cancers decreased, but cases of lung, thyroid, pancreatic, bladder and kidney cancers, along with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, melanoma and leukemia are on the rise.

Where cancers have increased, Edwards noted that in most cases there are no effective screening tests to catch the cancer early. In addition, for many of these cancers, the causes aren't known and there aren't effective treatments, she said.

Cancer death rates remain highest among blacks and lowest among Asian/Pacific Islanders. Although death rates by race/ethnicity were similar for most cancers, deaths from pancreatic cancer, the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the United States, increased in white men and women but dropped among black men and women.

Among men, except for Asian/Pacific Islanders, the three leading causes of cancer death were lung, prostate and colorectal cancer. Among Asian/Pacific Islanders, lung, liver and colorectal cancers were the top three causes of cancer death.

For women, except Hispanic women, the three leading causes of cancer death were lung, breast and colorectal cancer. For Hispanic women, breast cancer was the leading cause of cancer deaths, the study authors noted.

These differences in death rates may be due to differences in risk behaviors, socioeconomic status and access to and use of screening and treatment, according to the report.

While these trends are expected to continue, they could be accelerated if more people would make the lifestyle changes needed to reduce their risk of cancer. These include not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthful diet and exercising.

In addition, lives could be saved if more people were screened for cancers such as breast and colon cancer, and if there was mor
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