On Thursday, American Cancer Society’s annual report stated that US has seen a decline in the death related to different types of cancer. According to the report, overall cancer death rates have dropped in the past two decades amid improvements in medical research and treatments.
Death rates from Cancer in US has continually declined from 2014-2018. The drops have been reported in the deaths majorly caused by lung cancer and melanoma.
Karen Knudsen, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society, said in a news release, “The declines in lung cancer and melanoma death rates are the result of progress across the entire cancer continuum – from reduced smoking rates to prevent cancer to discoveries such as targeted drug therapies and immune checkpoint inhibitors,”
Farhad Asmi, the lead author of the report stated that the survival rate for melanoma has improved “substantially” since 2009. “The two-year survival rate for melanoma, advanced melanoma in 2009 was about 27%, this increased to about 44% in 2014, which is about a 60% increase in the survival rate,” he said.
The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer found that the overall deaths in men declined by 2.2% and in women by 1.7% over the period of four years. The report also stated that the declines were noted to be consistent across all ethnicities and races.
However, the report hasn’t shown all positive updates. On one hand, the cancer related deaths have dropped, while on the other hand, decline rate for other types of cancers- prostate, colorectal and female breast cancers, have slowed or disappeared. Additionally, death rates for brain and nervous system cancers and pancreatic cancers have risen.
The researchers have linked the increase in these cancer related deaths with a “staggering” rise in obesity and total sitting time. Farhad Islami stated, “We see that most of the cancer types that are increasing, those are obesity-related cancers… We see that increasing trend for many of the obesity-related cancers in those younger ages. So we think that at least a proportion of the increase in rates are attributable to increases in excess body weight and obesity.”
The report has been put together by American Cancer Society, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.