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11 January 2019, 08:43 | Silvia Roy
The U.S. cancer death rate has hit a milestone: It's been falling for at least 25 years.
By tracking deaths attributed to cancer over the past few decades the researchers were able to determine that the rate of cancer deaths in 2016 was an incredible 27% lower than it was in 1991.
Between 1990 and 2016, the lung cancer-related death rate has dropped 48% in men, while this rate has dropped 23% in women from 2002 to 2016.
There's been a lot of bad news recently regarding USA death rates. According to the article, New York City will spend up to $100 million per year for the plan, which involves expanding the city's existing public insurance programs and providing uninsured residents with access to affordable care at city-owned facilities. Socioeconomic deprivation was, prior to the mid-1980s, linked with lower cancer mortality; rates of colorectal cancer in men in the poorest United States counties were approximately 20% lower than those in affluent counties in early 1970s, but are 35% higher today. The report also indicated that the racial gap in United States cancer mortality is narrowing-with the disparity in cancer deaths between black and white individuals declining from a peak of 33% in 1993 to 14% in 2016-but socioeconomic disparities are widening.
Death rates for children and adolescents have declined continuously for many years, amounting to an overall 65% reduction from 1970 to 2016.
22% of deaths in the USA in 2016 were from cancer, making it the second leading cause of death after heart disease in both men and women. New lung cancer diagnoses have also dropped 3% in men and 1.5% in women between 2011 and 2015. However, in adults younger than age 55, new cases of colorectal cancer have increased nearly 2% per year since the mid-1990s. During 2012-2016, death rates in the poorest counties were 2 times higher for cervical cancer and 40% higher for male lung and liver cancers, compared with the richest counties. That gap has narrowed from a peak of 33% in 1993.
Lower smoking rates are translating into fewer deaths. That's a decrease of 1.5% each year. In children, leukemia accounts for the majority of cancer cases, making up 28% of all childhood cancers.
The special section provides information about cancer in the oldest old in the USA, including incidence and mortality rates and trends, survival, treatment, and the unique challenges affecting these patients.
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Visit the U.S. National Cancer Institute for more on cancer. Liver cancer deaths have been increasing since the 1970s, and initially most of the increase was tied to hepatitis C infections spread among people who abuse drugs.
Yet "it gives us a touch point on what's going on in cancer in the United States, because if we don't know what the trends are and the populations that are most burdened by the disease, then we can't do anything about it", Siegel said. Note: material may have been edited for length and content.
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