Overall cancer mortality rates decline

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BETHESDA, Md. — The latest Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer finds that overall cancer death rates continue to decline in men, women, and children in the United States in all major racial and ethnic groups.

Overall cancer incidence, or rates of new cancers, decreased in men and were stable in women from 1999 to 2014.

In a companion study, researchers reported that there has been an increase in incidence of late-stage prostate cancer and that after decades of decline, prostate cancer mortality has stabilized.

Data

The report includes mortality data through 2015. From 2011 to 2015, death rates decreased for 11 of the 18 most common cancer types in men and for 14 of the 20 most common cancer types in women.

Over the same period, death rates for cancers of the liver, pancreas, and brain and other nervous system increased in both men and women; death rates for cancer of the uterus increased in women; and death rates for cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx and soft tissue increased in men.

From 2010 to 2014, incidence rates decreased for seven of the 17 most common cancer types among men and for seven of the 18 most common cancer types among women.

Other findings

The report also describes five-year survival during 2007-2013 by cancer stage at diagnosis for four of the most common cancers: female breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung and bronchus cancer, and melanoma of the skin.

While five-year survival is high for early-stage disease for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and melanoma, survival remains low for all stages of lung cancer, ranging from 55 percent for Stage I to 4 percent for Stage IV.

“This report underscores that if cancer is caught early, when it has the best chance of being treated, patients can live longer,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D.

Other cancers

Increases in death rates for several cancers continue to cause concern.

Researchers suggest that the increase in liver cancer death rates is related to the high prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection among baby boomers, as well as to the high prevalence of obesity in the United States.

Obesity is also thought to have contributed to the increase in death rates from cancers of the uterus and pancreas.

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