Cancer Rates Declining
Today we have more good news about cancer: a recent report in the Journal
of the National Cancer Institute (6/01) shows that rates for cancer
cases and deaths in general DECREASED in the 1990s. The overall decrease was
1.1% per year from 1992 to 1998...and was led by reduced rates for prostate
cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer.
[These data came from combined government and private studies. The study compares
the rate of cancer incidence and death in the United States from 1992 to 1998
with similar statistics from earlier years. It is the result of combined data
and analysis from the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, the American Cancer Society and the NAACCR.]
This report showed that four different cancers--breast, prostate, lung and
colorectal--accounted for more than half of all cancer deaths and all new cancers
detected in 1998.
[While we hear a lot more about prostate cancer these days,
prostate cancer rates have actually fallen dramatically, by about a third over
six years. Rates for lung and colorectal cancers decreased slightly.]
The good news is that cancer death rates are also declining for eight of the
top 10 cancers. [The exceptions were the death rates for lung cancer in
women and for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.] The bad news is that while cancer
deaths declined across our overall population, this decrease was mostly in men.
In general, women experienced cancer incidence increases, particularly
in breast and lung cancers.
In fact, breast cancer rates jumped by about 40 percent since 1973. [The average
annual increase was 1.2 percent per year between 1992 to 1998.] This may be
actually be a good thing: it shows better use of screening which should result
in decreased breast cancer deaths. The study data confirmed this: breast cancer
death rates declined by 2.4 percent per year from 1992 to 1998.
For more information, click here.
Created: 8/20/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.