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|02-09-2006, 01:22 PM||#1|
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Cancer deaths fall in US for first time
Cancer deaths fall in US for first time
2 hours, 2 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fewer Americans died of cancer in 2003 than in previous years, the first such decline ever recorded, although the number of cancer deaths among women increased, the American Cancer Society said on Thursday.
"From 2002 to 2003, the number of recorded cancer deaths decreased by 778 in men, but increased by 409 in women, resulting in a net decrease of 369 total cancer deaths," the American Cancer Society said in a statement.
Due largely to a decline in smoking among men, it is the first decrease in numbers since 1930, when nationwide data was first compiled.
The society predicts that 2006 will see a slight decline compared to 2005, projecting that 1.4 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2006, and 565,000 will die of it.
"The death rate from all cancers combined has decreased in the United States since 1991, but not until 2003 was the decrease large enough to outpace the growth and aging of the population and reduce the actual number of cancer deaths," the society said.
"While it is unclear whether the decline in the total number of cancer deaths will continue, it marks a notable milestone in the battle against cancer."
The nonprofit American Cancer Society is the traditional U.S. source on cancer data, and based its newest numbers on a decline in the actual number of cancer deaths reported by the National Center for Health Statistics.
The NCHS, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported 557,271 actual cancer deaths in 2002 and 556,902 deaths in 2003.
"For years, we've proudly pointed to dropping cancer death rates even as a growing and aging population meant more actual deaths," said John Seffrin, the American Cancer Society's chief executive officer.
"Now, for the first time, the advances we've made in prevention, early detection, and treatment are outpacing even the population factors that in some ways obscured that success."
The group, along with other cancer experts, says half of cancer deaths expected in the United States will be related to tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and being overweight or obese.
Radon gas can cause lung cancer in miners exposed to very high concentrations and is found at low levels in most homes. Radon has been estimated to cause between 10 percent and 14 percent of U.S. lung cancer deaths, the society notes in a special section on environmental causes of cancer.
In its latest annual edition of cancer facts, the Society reports for 2006:
-- 1,399,790 new cancer cases and 564,830 deaths from cancer are expected in the United States.
-- Lung cancer remains the top cause of cancer death in the United States, with an estimated 174,470 new cases and 162,460 deaths. Cases of and deaths from lung cancer continue to fall in men but to go up in women, who started smoking in large numbers later than men did.
-- Breast cancer remains the most common cancer other than skin cancer among women, with an estimated 212,920 new cases and 40,970 deaths expected in 2006. Despite increasing incidence, the breast cancer death rate continues to fall.
-- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer other than skin cancer among men, with an estimated 234,460 new cases and 27,350 deaths expected in 2006. Although death rates have decreased since the early 1990s, rates in black men are twice as high as rates in white men.
The report is available online at www.cancer.org/statistics.
Yahoo! News/Reuters-February 9, 2006
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