Cancer Death Rates Slowly Declining

Cancer death rates are still slowly declining researchers say. Now they say the question is how to keep them declining and at a faster rate in a population full of people aging and weighing more, which are both risks for cancer.

Dr. Otis Brawley of the American Cancer Society, which compiled the annual cancer report with government and cancer advocacy groups said, “There has been clear progress.” Brawley added that poor diets, lack of physical activity and obesity together wield “incredible forces against this decline in mortality.” In the next decade that dangerous trio could surpass tobacco as the leading cause of cancer in the US according to Yahoo News.

Since the 1990s deaths from cancer have slowly been dropping. For men, the cancer death rates dropped by 1.8 percent a year between 2000 and 2009. Among women, cancer death rates have declined 1.4 percent between 2000 and 2009. The declines are attributed to advances in treatment and screening for the leading types of cancer: lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers.

However, death rates for some cancers are rising including liver and pancreatic. The most serious type of skin cancer, melanoma, is increasing in men also.

Oral an anal cancers caused by HPV, the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, are on the rise for both men and women. HPV is commonly known to cause cervical cancer and a vaccine is available to protect against HPV. Government figures show 32 percent of teen girls have received all three doses of the vaccines. The vaccine was recommended for boys a year ago.

Overall cancer death rates have dropped by 1.8 percent a year among children. However the incidence is continuing to increase by just over half a percent a year. Brawley said it is not clear why according to The Huffington Post.