Cancer Deaths per Year Have Decreased 25% in 20 Years in the US

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Good News: Cancer Deaths per Year Have Decreased 25% in 20 Years

An annual report from the Cancer Statistics 2017 showed cancer deaths per year have dropped 25 percent in the U.S. in 20 years. With the continued efforts of many studies, more lives will be saved and hopefully, one day, we can completely defeat this horrible disease.

Promising Numbers Against Cancer

Cancer has taken and continues to take millions of lives. Unsurprisingly, it is considered a major public health problem. In fact, cancer holds the second spot of the highest leading cause of death in the United States.

In 1991, cancer deaths per year reached their peak with 215.1 (per 100,000 population). But a decline of cancer cases leading to death has been observed and there is statistics to prove the numbers.

The Cancer Statistics 2017 reports on the annual population-based data of cancer incidence, mortality and survival rates from the American Cancer Society. The data showed death rates due to cancer significantly dropping in 2014 to 161.2 (per 100,000 population). This exhibits the 25 percent decline of cancer deaths in the past 20 years which translates to 2.1 million lives saved.

Meanwhile, according to, the lung, colorectal, prostate, and breast cancers take up 46 percent of the total cause of cancer deaths in both men and women. However, they have experienced a decline, too.

  • Lung cancer dropped 43 percent from 1991 to 2014
  • Breast cancer had a decline of 38 percent from 1989 to 2014
  • Prostate cancer decreased 51 percent from 1993 to 2014
  • Colorectal cancer was down to 51 percent from 1976 to 2014

The Fight Continues

There are many factors that have contributed to the decline in cancer deaths. For instance, many people have made an effort to quit smoking more so from men since women usually start later.

Meanwhile, colonoscopies for pre-screening and the removal of pre-cancer polyps that would eventually lead to colorectal cancer may have helped too. And the prostate cancer’s over-diagnosis caused by PSA blood tests have since been decreased, which would, in turn, lower the recorded cases.

The data only show how collective effort has affected and reduced the deathly toll of cancer. However, the fight against cancer is far from over.

In 2017, there are 1,688,780 new cases projected, with an estimate of 600,920 of the patients to lose the battle. That is why our researchers have not stopped to look for a cure.

Some promising studies include the mapping of the human cell which would make way for more effective cancer treatments. Another one is the utilization of bioinformatics that could open avenues for the development of cancer vaccines and a more personalized therapy.

At the end of the day, humanity is making progress slowly but steadily. It is not impossible that in time, we will eradicate this disease that has already taken millions of lives  per year.


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