Cancer deaths decline in US, with advances in prevention, detection and treatment
Posted by admin on 4th February 2020

The American Cancer Society recently reported a drop in the overall cancer death rate in the U.S., with an overall 29% decline in cancer deaths from 1991 to 2017.

This resulted in 2.9 million fewer deaths over this span.

This decline was mainly attributable to progress in the four most common cancers: lung, colorectal, breast and prostate cancer. This included a record decline of 2.2% in the last year of the report (2016-2017), led by a particularly steep recent drop in lung cancer. And, an article published Jan. 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that screening current and former heavy smokers with a low-dose CT scan is helping to detect the disease earlier, which is contributing to lower mortality.

I am the chief of hematology/oncology and medical director of the Cancer Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care. I take care of patients with cancer, with particular expertise in leukemia and related diseases. The steady decline in cancer deaths is quite encouraging, particularly in lung cancer – which provides a great example of how public health campaigns can change the course of a disease.