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U.S. Cancer Death Rates Continue to Fall
Date:5/27/2009

ing rates, especially among women, should push cancer rates further down in the future, the researchers noted.

Although some 45 million Americans continue to smoke, for a prevalence rate of about 20 percent, "smoking prevalence is going in the right direction," Jemal said. "We're going to see a reduction in lung cancer death rates, although I don't know when it might be. In particular, we will see a reduction in cancer death rates among women that's going to drive [down] the overall cancer death rate."

Better screening could also further fuel the trend. Only 50 percent of Americans over the age of 50 currently get regular screening for colorectal cancer, he said.

Here is a summary of the report's findings:

  • In 2009, an estimated 1,479,350 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. (766,130 in men and 713,220 in women) and 562,340 people will die of the disease (292,540 men and 269,800 women). This means 1,500 deaths from cancer every day).
  • Between 2001 and 2005, the incidence of cancer in men declined by 1.8 percent per year; from 1998 to 2005 the incidence rate in women dropped 0.6 percent per year. In men, the gains were largely as a result of decreases in the incidence of lung, prostate and colorectal cancer (the three most common cancers). In women, the decline was largely attributable to declines in both breast and colorectal cancer, the two most common tumor types in women.
  • Cancer death rates dropped by 11.4 percent for women between 1991 and 2005, with a 37 percent decline in deaths from breast cancer and a 24 percent decrease in deaths from colorectal cancer.
  • The three leading cancer killers in men are lung, prostate and colorectal cancer. In women, they are lung (accounting for 26 percent of all cancer deaths), breast and colorectal cancer.
  • Men have a 44 percent chance of developing cancer during their lifetime and women a 37 percent chance, althou
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