U.S. cancer death rates declining, report shows

(Reuters) – Fewer Americans are dying from the most common types of cancer, especially lung, showed a report published in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute on Thursday.

Death rates between 2014 and 2018 fell for 11 of the 19 most common cancers among men, and 14 of the 20 most common among women, according to the report from the American Cancer Society, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.

The accelerating pace of decline in deaths from lung cancer and melanoma helped bring down cancer deaths between 2001 and 2018, the report said.

Reduced smoking rates and breakthroughs in cancer drug development have helped contribute to the overall decline, Karen Knudsen, chief executive officer of American Cancer Society, said in a press release.

Dr. Jonathan Aviv prepares to scope a patient during visit at his Upper East Side office in New York April 3, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Death rates increased for brain and other nervous system as well as pancreatic cancer in both sexes, oral cavity and pharynx cancers in men, and liver and uterus cancers in women.

The rate of decline in deaths slowed or even disappeared for some cancers, including female breast cancer.

The report found that overall cancer death rates decreased in every racial and ethnic group during the 2014-18 period, but added that death rates remained higher among Black people than Whites.

Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; editing by Caroline Humer and Shinjini Ganguli

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