JAN 08, 2020 4:17 PM PST

Cancer Death Rates Declining in U.S., According to New Report

WRITTEN BY: Tiffany Dazet

In the United States, the death rate from cancer has declined, according to a new report released today by the American Cancer Society. The video below summarizes the annually released report, “Cancer Statistics, 2020,” which was published in the American Cancer Society’s peer-reviewed journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

According to the report, from 1991 to 2017, the cancer death rate in the U.S. declined by 29%. Additionally, from 2016 to 2017, the decline was the most significant single-year drop recorded at 2.2%. The report states that cancer death rates dropped by an average of 1.5% per year between 2008 and 2017, which equates to 2.9 million deaths avoided.

This decline is mainly due to drops in the death rates of four major cancer types: lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate. While progress in reducing colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers has slowed, progress in reducing lung cancer deaths has improved. This improvement is attributed to reducing the number of smokers, in addition to advances in early detection and treatment.

According to the report, the lung cancer death rate dropped 51% among men from 1990 to 2017; and 26% among women from 2002 to 2017. Breast cancer death rates declined by 40% from 1989 to 2017. Prostate cancer death rates fell 52% from 1993 to 2017. Colorectal cancer death rates dropped 53% from 1980 to 2017 in men and by 57% from 1969 to 2017 in women.

The report also projects cancer cases and estimated deaths for 2020. It predicts more than 1.8 million new cancer cases and more than 600,000 cancer deaths in the United States this year. This equates to nearly 5,000 new cases and more than 1,600 deaths every single day in the United States. According to the report, breast cancer leads the number of estimated new cases at more than 279,000. Breast cancer is followed by lung and bronchus cancer, prostate, colorectum, melanoma, and urinary bladder. Lung and bronchus cancer leads the list of estimated deaths in 2020. According to the report, California will have the highest number of new cancer cases followed by Florida, Texas, and New York.

Sources: ACS Journals, Cancer Statistics Center

About the Author
  • Tiffany grew up in Southern California, where she attended San Diego State University. She graduated with a degree in Biology with a marine emphasis, thanks to her love of the ocean and wildlife. With 13 years of science writing under her belt, she now works as a freelance writer in the Pacific Northwest.
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