The annual report of the American Cancer Society (ACS) pointed out that cancer mortality rates have dropped significantly in the last 30 years. According to the group's data, the number of cancer deaths fell by 32%, from the highest historical rate, between 1991 and 2019.
The decline appears to result from a drop in lung cancer deaths. The report found that people are living longer after being diagnosed with lung tumors. This is due to the popularization of mechanisms for diagnosing the disease in early stages.
“The accelerating decline in the cancer mortality rate shows the power of prevention, screening, early diagnosis, treatment and our overall potential to move closer to a cancer-free world,” the ACS said in a press release.
Another reason for the drop in the number of deaths from lung cancer is the decrease in smoking worldwide, especially in the United States. So it makes sense to think that with fewer people smoking, there will be less death from cancer.
However, the ACS report did not take into account the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused many people to postpone routine medical appointments. This is because the data are based on information on cancer diagnoses up to 2018 and deaths from the disease up to 2019.
The cancer mortality rate varied greatly depending on aspects such as race and socioeconomic level. Black patients, for example, had a five-year lower survival rate on average than white patients. Women also died more, regardless of race.
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Cancer is still one of the leading causes of death in the world, second only to heart disease and, in the last two years, Covid-19. However, knowing that deaths from the disease are falling and treatments advancing is certainly a positive thing.
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