ACS annual report says cancer mortality is decreasing

Overall cancer incidence rates in men declined by 0.6% per year and remained stable in women and cancer mortality fell by 1.8% per year among men and by 1.6% per year among women between 2004 and 2008.

This information appears in Cancer Statistics, 2012, the new report released by the American Cancer Society (ACS) and published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/caac.20138/pdf). The document, authored by Rebecca Siegel, MPH, and others from the ACS in Atlanta, Georgia, compiles the most recent information on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival based on data from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, and the National Center for Health Statistics.

The statistics yielded numerous findings, including but not limited to the following:

  • In the most recent 10-year period of available data (1999-2008), cancer mortality has remained stable among male and female Native Americans/Alaskan Natives. In every other racial/ethnic group, cancer death rates have declined for both men and women, most rapidly for African American and Hispanic men with reductions of 2.4% and 2.3% per year, respectively.
  • Mortality continues to decline for all four major cancer sites—lung, colorectum, breast, and prostate—with lung cancer accounting for almost 40% of the total reduction in men and breast cancer for 34% of the total reduction in women.
  • Cancer incidence and mortality rates vary considerably among racial and ethnic groups, with African American men demonstrating a 15% higher incidence rate and 33% higher death rate than white men for all cancer sites combined. African American women have a 6% lower incidence rate but a 16% higher death rate than white women.
  • A total of 1,638,910 new cancer cases will be diagnosed and 577,190 people will die from the disease in 2012.

 The ACS has also issued an accompanying consumer publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2012 (available from the ACS at http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-031941.pdf). This includes a special section, also available in CA (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/caac.20141/pdf), “Cancers With Increasing Incidence Trends in the United States: 1999 Through 2008. The ACS team that authored this report was led by Edgar P. Simard, PhD, MPH, and included Siegel, who was the lead author of Cancer Statistics, 2012.  This group of researchers noted that over the past decade, incidence rates have risen for cancers of the pancreas, liver, thyroid, and kidney; cutaneous melanoma; and esophageal adenocarcinoma; and for certain subsites of oropharyngeal cancer associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

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