Good news: US cancer deaths dropped for 26th year in a row

  • Published on January 11th, 2020

A report from the American Cancer Society, shows the rate of people dying from cancer in the United States has declined, and that’s for the 26th consecutive year. Rebecca Siegel is the first author of the report and the scientific director of surveillance research at the ACS. She says, “What is really driving that is the acceleration in the decline of mortality for lung cancer, and the reason that is encouraging is because lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, causing more deaths in the US than breast, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancers combined.”

cancer death rate scaled


Cause of the decline according to data in the report are reductions in smoking, improvements in treatment, and early detection for some cancers such as breast cancer or colorectal cancer.

This information gives hope to millions who have lost someone to cancer, who have a history of cancer in their bloodlines, or who have cancer now.

My mother had cancer — she was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma. All of the doctors thought she was going to die. Fortunately, it wasn’t her time yet and they caught cancer with the first surgery even though they had to remove her lymph nodes for testing. What took her later on was heart disease, which was induced by diabetes. Diseases kill, so learning about how death rates caused by cancer are dropping gives many people hope.

The Stats.

In 2017, it was noted that the death rate for lung cancer dropped by 51% among men since its peak in 1990. It dropped 26% among women since its peak in 2002. The death rate for female breast cancer fell 40% since its peak in 1989. For men, the death rate from prostate cancer fell by 52% since its peak in 1993.

The report also believes that there will be around 1.8 million cancer cases diagnosed in the United States this year. This is almost 5,000 new cases each day. It also projected that just over 600,000 people in the United States will die from cancer this year, which is around 1,600 deaths per day. The good news is that cancer survival has improved for all of the most common cancers except uterine cervix and uterine corpus cancer.

The Centers for Disease Control report that cigarette smoking among adults in the United States declined from 20.9% to 15.5% in 2016, but still, around 38 million Americans smoke every day or some days. There have also been numerous health campaigns to encourage either quitting smoking or to discourage picking up the habit. Most of us today see smoking cigarettes as a gross habit — and the smell gets everywhere.

In addition, there have been government interventions of various sorts, including increasing the cost of tobacco, smoke-free laws, and anti-tobacco mass media campaigns. We can see from this new report that these efforts are influencing the rates of death among those with lung cancer.

There are still many people dying every day from preventable diseases caused by air pollution. Clean energy and electric vehicles are solid ways to cut back on that pollution and save more lives.

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(Originally appeared at our sister-site, Cleantechnica.)

About the Author

Johnna Crider is a Baton Rouge artist, gem and mineral collector, and Tesla shareholder who believes in Elon Musk and Tesla. Elon Musk advised her in 2018 to “Believe in Good.” Tesla is one of many good things to believe in. You can find Johnna on Twitter