Death Rates From Cancer Continue To Inch Down

WASHINGTON (January 7, 2013)--Cancer deaths began slowly dropping during the 1990s, and a report Monday shows that the trend is holding.

Among men, cancer death rates dropped by 1.8 percent a year between 2000 and 2009.

The rate declined by 1.4 percent a year among women.

The drops are mostly because of gains against some of the leading types of cancer including lung, colorectal, breast and prostate cancers, resulting from advances in treatment and better screening.

But deaths are still rising for certain cancer types, including liver and pancreatic cancer, and, among men, melanoma, the most serious kind of skin cancer.

An official with the American Cancer Society, which compiled the annual report with government and cancer advocacy groups, says there are strong forces working against the decline in mortality including such factors as bad diets, a lack of physical activity and obesity.

Dr. Otis Brawley warns that over the next decade, those problems could surpass tobacco as the leading causes of cancer in the United States.

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