Cancer deaths decline in the U.S.

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The cancer death rate has continued to decline in the U.S., according to a report published on March 12 in the journal Cancer.

The death rate from all cancers fell by 1.5% from 2001 to 2017, researchers found. But the actual death rate varied by gender and cancer type.

For women, deaths associated with the three most common cancers all declined between 2001 and 2017. Deaths attributed to breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer fell by 1.2%, 1.6%, and 3.7%, respectively.

For men, the death rate decreased for 11 of the 19 most common cancers. This included a decrease in deaths for prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer by 0.3%, 2.3%, and 4.8%, respectively.

Despite the overall decrease in cancer-related deaths, deaths from cancers of the brain and nervous system increased by 0.4% for men and 0.5% for women. Deaths attributed to pancreatic cancer also increased by 0.3% for men and 0.2% for women.

Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, attributed the decrease in overall cancer deaths to prevention, early detection, and treatment, but he also noted more work can be done to further improve the success rates.

"While we are encouraged that overall cancer death rates have decreased, there is still much more we can do to prevent new cancers and support communities, families, and cancer survivors in this ongoing battle," Redfield stated in a press release.

The report is an annual collaboration from major U.S. cancer organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, and North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.

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