While across America, cancer continues to rank second place when it comes to causes of death, recent data reveals that there is some hope that society can overcome this disease. According to a report from the American Cancer Society that was recently published, 2014 data reveals deaths around cancer have decreased by 25 percent from the illness’ peak in 1991.
Report’s lead author, American Cancer Society’s Rebecca L. Siegel stated this decrease reflects 2.1 million prevented deaths. She also noted that the cancer death rates have been decreasing by over one percent annually due to early detection (an increase in both awareness and screening) as well as enhancements of treatment and the decrease in smoking. She also added that the organization estimates that this death rate will keep decreasing.
The American Cancer Society accumulated the most recent numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics. This included cancer cases reported 2013 and subsequent deaths in 2014. The report also has an approximate total number of deaths avoided, due to decreasing rates over time.
As per the report, CNN reported that cancer also happens to hold the second place for common causes of death for kids aged one to 14. Leukemia, at 29 percent marks a third of all cancers for this demographic, where nervous system and brain tumors follows up at 26 percent. While childhood cancers have heightened by 0.6 percent each year from 1975 to 2013, deaths around these illnesses have decreased since the mid-70s. In fact, when it comes to all childhood cancers, the five-year survival rate has increased from 58 percent from 1975 to 1977 to 83 percent from 2006 to 2012.
Meanwhile breast cancer, lung, prostate, and colorectal cancers are the most common cancers to cause death when it comes to adults. This list marks a little under 50 percent when it comes to totaling cancer deaths of both males and females. According to Geoffrey Kabat of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, who was not involved in the report, prostate cancers have decreased by 50 percent over the past 25 years. This is due in large part to screening. He added that breast cancer is also on the decline, which is most likely to do better treatment and a smaller chunk of it can be attributed to screening. Lung cancers has also declined over the years, thanks to more education around the hazards of smoking.
As the team looks towards the future, they predict that over 1,600,000 new cancer cases will be reported in 2017, resulting in over 600,000 fatalities. Siegel believes that obesity and potential disturbances when it comes to tapering racial differences in cancer deaths as possible obstacles when it comes to progress.