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U.S. Cancer Deaths Down 20 Percent

Posted at: 01/17/2013 9:40 AM
Updated at: 01/17/2013 9:54 AM
By: Brittany Falkers

A new American Cancer Society report says that, as of 2009, the death rate for cancer in the U.S. is down 20 percent from its peak in 1991.  This translates to the avoidance of about 1.2 million deaths from cancer - 152,900 in 2009 alone.

The milestone drop come from the American Cancer Society's annual Cancer Statistics report, one of the most widely-cited medical publications in the world.

Minnesota mirrors that national trend, according to the report.  However, cancer continues to be the leading cause of death statewide.  New cancer cases were estimated to exceed 25,000 in 2010 with a projected 9,200 lives lost to the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.

The reports also shows a death rate decline in lung, colon and rectum (colorectum), breast, and prostate cancer, the four major cancer sites.  Over the past two decades, death rates decreased from their peak by more than 30 percent for cancers of the colorectum, female breast, and male lung, and by more than 40 percent for prostate cancer.

Authors of the reports say the large drops for the four major cancer sites are due, primarily, to reductions in smoking for lung cancer and to improvements in early detection and treatment.

 While incidence rates are declining for most cancer sites, the are increasing among both men and women for melanoma of the skin and cancers of the liver, thyroid, and pancreas.

Melanoma rates are rising in Minnesota, doubling since 1988, according to the American Cancer Society. 

For more information on the annual report CLICK HERE.