Cancer Rates Continue to Drop

by: cancercompass

A new report from the American Cancer Society this week had some positive news: cancer incidences and deaths in the United States are continuing to drop.

According to an article in USA Today, between 2004 and 2008, death rates for cancer went down by 1.8 percent a year in men and 1.6 percent a year in women. Dr. Ahmedin Jemal, the senior author of the new report, discovered that death rates in the U.S. have been going down since the early 90s, and therefore about a million cancer deaths were averted.

Just pause for a moment and think about that. One million people is a huge number, especially if you’re just thinking about the population of the United States alone. While the war on cancer is far from over, statistics like this are encouraging as we head into 2012.

Jemel attributed the decrease to improvements in prevention, early detection and treatment. Doctors know so much more about cancer than they did 20 years ago, but there is still a whole lot to learn.

I have to say I was surprised by the facts gleaned from the report, as it always seems to me that cancer incidences are growing as more and more people I know are fighting the battle every day. Unfortunately, it may just be in my own circle of friend and family that this is happening, but it is reassuring to know that on the whole prevention efforts are working and that technology is become more advanced. Also, I think that cancer is discussed more openly now than in the past, which is why it may feel like cancer is still on the rise, when in fact the opposite is true.

A cure for cancer may still be decades away, but every year that the numbers go down is a year that hope can go up.

If you’d like to read all of the results, you can view the complete abstract here.