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Report: Cancer Deaths Continue to Drop in U.S.

Progress most rapid for middle-aged African-American men (January 7)

The annual cancer statistics report from the American Cancer Society (ACS) finds that steady declines in cancer death rates for the past two decades add up to a 20% drop in the overall risk of dying from cancer during that period.

The report, Cancer Statistics 2014, also finds that progress has been most rapid for middle-aged African-American men, among whom death rates have declined by approximately 50%. Despite this progress, African-American men continue to have the highest cancer incidence and death rates among all ethnicities in the U.S. — about double those of Asian-Americans, who have the lowest rates.

This year’s report estimates that there will be 1,665,540 new cancer cases and 585,720 cancer deaths in the U.S. in 2014. Among men, prostate, lung, and colon cancer will account for about half of all newly diagnosed cancers, with prostate cancer alone accounting for about one in four cases. Among women, the three most common cancers in 2014 will be breast, lung, and colon, which together will account for half of all cases. Breast cancer alone is expected to account for 29% of all new cancers among women.

The estimated 585,720 deaths from cancer in 2014 correspond to about 1,600 deaths per day. Lung, colon, prostate, and breast cancers continue to be the most common causes of cancer death, accounting for almost half of the total cancer deaths among men and women. Just over one in four cancer deaths is due to lung cancer.

During the most recent 5 years for which there are data (2006–2010), cancer incidence rates declined slightly in men (by 0.6% per year) and were stable in women, whereas cancer death rates decreased by 1.8% per year in men and by 1.4% per year in women. The combined cancer death rate has been continuously declining for two decades, from a peak of 215.1 per 100,000 in 1991 to 171.8 per 100,000 in 2010.

Source: ACS; January 7, 2013.

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