Cancer Rates Drop for Second Year
For the second consecutive year, the number of cancer deaths in the United States has dropped, according to a new report from the American Cancer Society (ACS). Fewer people died of cancer in 2004 than in 2003, when cancer deaths also declined.
In 2004, there were 3,014 fewer cancer deaths than in 2003, according to Cancer Statistics 2007. The report is published in the latest issue of the ACS journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. In 2002, a drop of 369 deaths was reported.
The CA article and a companion piece, Cancer Facts & Figures 2007, are yearly ACS reports that estimate the number of cancer cases and deaths in the coming year. The CA report attributes efforts towards cancer prevention, early detection and more effective treatments for the declining numbers.
“Better screening programs and diagnosing cancer at an early stage are contributing to the decreases,” said Bruce H. Campbell, MD, FACS, Medical College of Wisconsin otolaryngologist who specializes in cancers of the head and neck. Dr. Campbell is also interim director of the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Clinical Cancer Center.
The Clinical Cancer Center offers many programs to prevent, detect and treat all types of cancer. Specialists from many medical disciplines combine their knowledge and treatment experience, keeping Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin on the forefront of treatment, as well as research that translates into better patient care.
“A big piece of the decline in cancer deaths is related to the number of people who have stopped smoking,” Dr. Campbell said. “There are more ex-smokers than smokers today, and there’s been a significant drop in lung cancer. The combination of fewer smokers and earlier detection is reducing cancer deaths.”
About 30 percent of cancer deaths in the United States are caused by smoking, according to the ACS.
The CA report shows that lung cancer remains the top cancer killer among both men and women. About 213,380 people are expected to develop lung cancer in 2007, and 160,390 deaths are expected. Incidence and death rates among women have flattened in recent years, but fewer men are getting lung cancer or dying from it.
Declining death rates have occurred most notably in breast, prostate and colorectal cancers.
- According to Cancer Facts & Figures 2007, the number of breast cancer cases in the United States has leveled off in recent years. The report states that breast cancer death rates have been dropping steadily since 1990 because of earlier detection and better treatments. In 2007, 178,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected, and about 40,910 breast cancer deaths are expected.
- Death rates from prostate cancer are also declining; about 218,890 new cases and 27,050 deaths are expected in 2007.
- Both incidence and death rates have dropped for colorectal cancer in recent years. About 112,340 cases and 52,180 deaths are expected in 2007.
As an academic medical center, more than 2,000 clinical trials are conducted at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin each year, offering patients access to treatments that might not be available elsewhere.
“Through local philanthropy and funding from the National Cancer Institute, Froedtert & the Medical College are conducting research to identify the causes of cancer and develop more effective and targeted treatments,” Dr. Campbell said.
Author: Marla Fraunfelder
Source: CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
Date: Jan. 21, 2007
|Medical Reviewer: ||Bruce Campbell, MD, FACS||