Cancer Deaths Have Fallen Drastically Over the Last 25 Years
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Time magazine
Posted: January 21st, 2019
Cancer is the second-leading cause of death among Americans, behind only heart disease. But theres good news: the cancer death rate has drastically declined over the past 25 years, according to a new report from the American Cancer Society (ACS). Overall, the cancer death rate dropped by 27% between 1991 and 2016, according to the reports data, which came from the National Center for Health Statistics. Steadily declining cancer mortality rates saved about 2.6 million lives between 1991 and 2016. Significant reductions in lung cancer mortality explain a large part of the overall trend. Smoking rates have fallen dramatically in recent years, corresponding to a significant dip in lung cancer deaths. And since smoking rates have traditionally been higher among men than women, male death rates have fallen especially far: by 48% between 1990 and 2016, compared to a 23% drop among women between 2002 and 2016. Racial gaps in cancer mortality are narrowing. But black Americans were still about 14% more likely to die from cancer than white Americans in 2016. Thats a sizable drop from 25 years ago, when the difference was 33%, but it still reflects the inequalities in wealth that lead to differences in risk factor exposures and barriers to high-quality cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment, the authors write.
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