ike heart disease, is by and large predictable and preventable, this is a very gratifying report," he said. "We have here proof that both the incidence and mortality of cancer overall have trended downward over recent years. This means that we are treating cancer more effectively when it occurs, but also preventing it outright more often."
Yet there is some discouraging news, Katz said. "Lung cancer death rates in women in the South and Midwest have continued to rise, due to higher rates of smoking. We should note, however, that after smoking rates fall, it takes some time to see that reflected in less cancer. So we might fix the basis for these disparities, and still see disparities for some time," he said.
"Cancer remains a leading cause of both premature death and misery in our society. And far more of that burden is preventable than progress to date reveals. You can minimize your own risk by taking four steps: Don't smoke, eat well, be active, and get screened," Katz said.
To learn more about cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.
SOURCES: Ahmedin Jemal, D.V.M., Ph.D., director, Cancer Occurrence Office, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; David L. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director, Prevention Research Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; Dec. 3, 2008, Journal of the National Cancer Institute
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