(HealthDay News) — Overall cancer rates have decreased for men and remained stable for women, but mortality from cancer has declined for both men and women, according to a report from the American Cancer Society published online Jan. 4 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Rebecca Siegel, M.P.H., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues estimated the numbers of new cancer cases and deaths expected in the United States in 2012, based on national incidence and mortality data.

The investigators found that, in 2012, an estimated 1,638,910 incident cases of cancer and 577,190 deaths from cancer are projected to occur. From 2004 to 2008, overall cancer rates decreased by 0.6 percent per year in men and were stable for women; and cancer death rates decreased by 1.6 and 1.8 percent per year in men and women, respectively. From 1999 to 2008, mortality rates from cancer decreased by more than 1 percent annually for women and men of all racial and ethnic groups, with the exception of American Indians/Alaska Natives, whose mortality rates remained stable. African-American and Hispanic men experienced the most rapid declines in death rates (2.4 and 2.3 percent, respectively). For all four major cancer sites (lung, colorectum, breast, and prostate), death rates declined, with breast cancer accounting for 34 percent of the total decrease in women, and lung cancer accounting for 40 percent of the overall decrease in men.

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“Further progress can be accelerated by applying existing cancer control knowledge across all segments of the population,” the authors write.

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