The cancer rate in the United States dropped continuously over a 25-year period, representing a 27 percent decline, according to a study published Tuesday.
Cancer is the second-leading killer in the USA, and it's poised to soon pass heart disease for that top slot.
"The continued decline in the cancer death rate over the past 25 years is really good news and was a little bit of a surprise, only because the other leading causes of death in the U.S. are starting to flatten".
Cancer also remains the nation's No. 2 killer.
Data were collected from 47 states and the District of Columbia for this report.
The new report noted that almost 2 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and more than 600,000 will die of the disease. Major cancer types: Lung, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer The most common cancers diagnosed in men are prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers.
The death rate from cancer has been steadily declining in the United States since 1991, when it peaked at 215.1 deaths per 100,000 population. New lung cancer diagnoses have also dropped 3% in men and 1.5% in women between 2011 and 2015. Brain cancer deaths also rose each year. Cancer outcomes differ among racial/ethnic groups The rates of new cancer cases and cancer deaths vary quite a bit among racial and ethnic groups, with rates generally highest among African Americans and lowest for Asian Americans.
In addition, the decrease in mortality among men was 34% against 24% for women. However, in adults under the age of 55 years, there was an increase of about 2% in new cases per year since the mid-1990s.
According to Electra Paskett, co-program leader of the cancer control program at Ohio State University's Comprehensive Cancer Center, "The people who suffer the most are impacted by social determinants of health, which include where they live, their socioeconomic condition, their education, their income".
Paskett pointed out that "we have made great strides".
In the early 1970s, colon cancer death rates in the poorest counties were 20 percent lower than those in affluent counties; now they're 35 percent higher. However, this has narrowed the gap from 1993 when the rate was 33%.
Racial and ethnic differences in cancer burden reflect several factors related to socioeconomic status. Advances in cancer treatment and detection as well as a decrease in smoking have primarily driven the decrease, according to the authors.
Where the poor have access to screening, these disparities can be eliminated, she suggested. Furthermore, an estimated 606,880 Americans will die from cancer, a number that corresponds to 1700 deaths per day. In children, leukemia accounts for the majority of cancer cases, making up 28% of all childhood cancers.