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Cancer Deaths Reported Down Between 1990 and 2005

Decrease led by 37 percent drops in lung cancer deaths in men and breast cancer deaths in women

THURSDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- A 19.2 percent drop in cancer deaths in men and an 11.4 percent drop in women avoided about 650,000 cancer deaths between 1990 and 2005, according to the American Cancer Society's annual report of cancer statistics in CA, A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Ahmedin Jemal, Ph.D., of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues compiled the most recent incidence, survival, and mortality data from the National Cancer Institute, the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, the National Center for Health Statistics, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report states that, in men, cancer death rates decreased overall by 19.2 percent between 1990 and 2005, led by decreases in lung cancer (37 percent), prostate cancer (24 percent), and colorectal cancer (17 percent). In women, cancer death rates decreased by 11.4 percent between 1991 and 2005, led by decreases in breast cancer (37 percent) and colorectal cancer (24 percent). Overall, the falling death rates resulted in about 650,000 fewer deaths from cancer over the 15-year period. The American Cancer Society projected 1,479,350 new cancer cases and 562,340 deaths in the United States for 2009.

"Although progress has been made in reducing incidence and mortality rates and improving survival, cancer still accounts for more deaths than heart disease in persons younger than 85 years of age. Further progress can be accelerated by applying existing cancer control knowledge across all segments of the population and by supporting new discoveries in cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment," the authors conclude.

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