It’s always great when we receive news about cancer that’s positive. According to a new report that is the result of a collaboration of America’s leading cancer organizations, death rates are on the decline in the U.S. from certain cancers. Others remain either stable or are increasing, but for the purposes of this article, I will focus on the bright side for a change and discuss those cancers that are on the decline.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries all work together every year to provide information on cancer rates. Looking at overall cancer death rates for long-term trends, the report continues to look at cancers affecting all races and ages, from 2003 onward. This is the first time that the Latino contingent has been represented in the report as well.
The good news is that since the early ’90s, we’ve been seeing a decline in the rate of deaths due to certain cancers; many that are found in both sexes. The report offers an abundance of information, so, for the sake of space, let’s look at an abbreviated selection of the more significant and interesting findings from the study. (The statistics below only include cases where a decrease has occurred. Keep in mind that there are still many cancers that may be on the rise or are simply stable at this time.)
According to the report:
— Incidences of lung, stomach, and oral cavity cancers from 1995 through to 2003 declined for all male races and ethnicities.
— The incidence rates for colon and rectum cancers declined in non-Hispanic and while males (all races).
— From 1998 to 2003, the incidence rates for rectum and colon cancer decreased in men.
— The incidence rates for oral cavity and stomach cancers have declined since 1975 and lung cancer has decreased since 1982 for men.
— Cervical cancer decreased in all ethnicities and races for women (it was the only cancer to decrease among the top 15 cancers affecting all women).
— Ovarian cancer is on the decline for women of most ethnicities and races.
— Stomach cancer incidence rates have also decreased for all ethnicities and races (excluding Latino women).
— Since 1975, men have seen decreases in pancreatic cancer and leukemia whereas incidences of colon, cervix, bladder, and rectum cancers have decreased for women.
— When it came to prostate, colon, and lung cancers, the rate of incidences declined in most ethnic and race populations.
The full findings will be reported in the October 15 issue of the medical journal Cancer. Hopefully, next year’s report will bring even more good news, especially for those cancers that are either on the rise or that currently have remained stable. For now, you can take stock in knowing that progress is being made in the battle against cancer, even if we do still have a long way to go.