Overall, a recent study shows that the U.S. is getting farther in the fight against cancer as cancer-related deaths drop. The overall cancer mortality rate, or the number of deaths per 100,000 people, has decreased between 1999 to 2015 by 1.9 percent in men and 1.4 percent in women.
However, the study also found that the mortality rate for certain types of cancers, like liver, pancreatic, brain, and nervous systems cancers are rising.
The study was part of an annual report by the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The National Cancer Institute, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.
Rates of death have dropped in 11 out of 18 types of cancers in men.
They also dropped in 14 of 20 types of cancer in women between 2011 and 2015.
Unfortunately, the new cases of cancer per 1000,000 people have increased slightly in children, stayed the same for women, and decreased in men.
However, men are still more likely to be diagnosed with and die of cancer than women are.
“There is a lot of good news in the report — overall mortality is going down for all cancers combined,” Kathy Cronin, the study’s lead author, told BuzzFeed News.
One of the reasons for the decrease in cancer rates is attributed to fewer people smoking.
This puts one at risk for lung, colorectal, and other cancers.
Smoking causes more than 25 percent of all cancer deaths in the U.S. Early diagnoses and better treatments are also reasons for the reduction in deaths.
“The site that is going up the fastest as far as the annual percent change in mortality is liver, and that’s for both men and women,” Cronin said. “Of course this is an observational study so you can’t really assign causality to it, but it’s believed to be due to hepatitis C.”
The study found that black men and women were found to have the highest cancer mortality rates compared to other groups.
“Except for female lung cancer, black men and black women had the highest death rates for cancer sites with the highest mortality in the overall population: lung, prostate, female breast, colorectal, and pancreas,” the report states.
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Hispanic men and women had the lowest rates of cancer and death. Cancer incidence for all types of cancer combined is highest for black men and white women.
Cancer diagnoses can grow for several reasons, including more people being screened for cancer in addition to more people being afflicted.
“It’s thought that a lot of that is due to detection since most of the increase is small, very small tumors,” Cronin said. “I’d say we are making progress, but more work needs to be done.”
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