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Research

The overall cancer death rate continues to decline, research reports

According to a recent report, there is a decline in cancer mortality over the past two decades. This is primarily due to steady reductions in smoking and developments in early diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This decline is reflected in the four major cancers: lung, prostate, breast, and colorectal.

This report appears in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. It was a joint effort among the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society (ACS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR).

According to the report, in 1999–2016, cancer death rates for women, men, and children continued to decline. When investigators looked at data from 2011–2015, men had an overall incidence rate which was about 1.2 times greater than that of women. Furthermore, in 2012–2016, the overall death rate was 1.4 times higher in men than that of women.

Different rates for different age groups

The report exposed information which shone a light on certain demographics where statistics were not so encouraging. For example, in the 20–49 age group, there were some prominent differences in rates between women and men which did not reflect cancer rates as a whole.

The researchers found that women for this group had a much higher incidence rate of cancers which is 203.3 per 100,000 people for women and 115.3 per 100,000 people for men.

Women also had a higher annual cancer death rate during 2012–2016. It was 22.8 per 100,000 people for men and 27.1 per 100,000 people for women. However, there was a greater cancer burden among women than men ages 20 to 49. It was a conspicuous discovery of this study. Further, there was a high burden of breast cancer as compared to other cancers in this age group.

It emphasizes the significance of study on prevention, early diagnosis, and its treatment in younger women. In the women of age group 20–49, breast cancer was the most common, followed by melanoma and thyroid cancer. Colorectal cancer was the most common for men, followed by cancer of the testis and melanoma.

Cancer statistics

According to the ACS, people in the U.S have a 1 in 3 chance of developing invasive cancer during their lives. Prostate cancer is the most common for men with 1 in 9 chance. Whereas breast cancer is the most common for women having 1 in 8 chance.

Researchers also note that the risk of developing cancer rises with age. Though most cancer cases do not have a certain obvious cause, there are some risk factors which can upsurge the chances that it will grow. Genetics can also play a part, for example, 5–10% of all cancers are associated with genes.

Exposure to chemicals or radiations can increase cancer risk. Moreover, lifestyle habits can also increase the risk of cancer, like tobacco use and unnecessary exposure to ultraviolet light.

Despite these measurements, the report did find that overall death rates declined 1.4% per year in women and 1.8% per year in men for the 2012–2016 period. Similarly, although rates were greater in certain demographics, the report does signal where more study is required.

Thus, researchers are encouraged by this year’s report which shows declining cancer mortality for women, men, and children, as well as other signs of progress. There are also a number of findings which highlight the significance of continued research and cancer prevention efforts.

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