The death rate from all cancers has declined in the United States over the last 15 years, according to a new report.
And for the first time in four decades, death rates from lung cancer went down in women during this period, the report says. This drop came 10 years after lung cancer deaths in men began to fall.
"The decrease in cancer incidence and mortality reflects progress in cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment," wrote the authors of the report, which is published each year by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Cancer Society. The report examined cancer trends between 1992 and 2007.
However, death rates from some cancers, including pancreatic cancer and melanoma , are on the rise, the researchers say.
While the continued decline in cancer death rates is encouraging, more and more people will be diagnosed with cancer as the population ages. The number of people in the United States age 65 years and older is expected to double in size by 2030 compared with 2000.
"Effective management of the cancer burden will require the application of sound cancer control strategies in prevention, detection, treatment, and survivorship, as well as resources to provide good quality of care," the researchers wrote in the online March 31 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Among the report's main findings:
This year's report includes, for the first time, data on non-malignant brain tumors diagnosed from 2004 through 2007. The report found:
Pass it on: Overall cancer death rates are down in the United States, but more people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer as the population ages.
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