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Cancer Rates, Cancer Mortality Rates Falling in U.S.

Lung cancer mortality falls in women after decades of rising

FRIDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Newly diagnosed cancer rates and cancer-related mortality rates in the United States are steadily declining, according to the "Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer," published online March 31 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers with the U.S. National Cancer Institute, the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Cancer Society compiled the report, which focuses on the 15 most common cancers and the 15 most common cancer-related causes of death in men and women.

According to the report, there was a 0.8 percent decline in new cancer diagnoses every year between 2003 and 2007, and an annual decline in death rates of 1.6 percent. Notably, lung cancer-related death rates among women dropped nearly 1 percent yearly during that time span, following decades of increases. Although the cancer-related death rate for blacks fell significantly between 1998 and 2007, blacks have the highest cancer death rate, with the disparity widest in cancers most influenced by screening and treatment.

"This points to the continued racial differences in access to care," Ahmedin Jemal, D.V.M., Ph.D., vice president of surveillance research for the American Cancer Society, said in a statement.

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