Some Good News
Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C Program Manager, Oncology Social Work
JANUARY 18, 2017
There is so much worry and anxiety in our lives right now that it feels especially nice to hear some straight forward good news. The American Cancer Society has just released some new statistics, and there are some numbers that you will be happy to read. Note: there is not the news that we all hope for: no new cancers and cures for all that have been diagnosed.
Cancer Facts and Figures: Death Rate Down 25% Since 1991
By Stacy Simon
The death rate from cancer in the US has declined steadily over the past 2 decades, according to annual statistics reporting from the American Cancer Society. The cancer death rate for men and women combined fell 25% from its peak in 1991 to 2014, the most recent year for which data are available. This decline translates to more than 2.1 million deaths averted during this time period.
“Cancer Statistics, 2017,” published in the American Cancer Society’s journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, estimates the numbers of new cancer cases and deaths expected in the US this year. The estimates are some of the most widely quoted cancer statistics in the world. The information will also be released in a companion report, Cancer Facts & Figures 2017 and will be available on the interactive website, the Cancer Statistics Center.
A total of 1,688,780 new cancer cases and 600,920 deaths from cancer are projected to occur in the US in 2017.
During the most recent decade of available data, the rate of new cancer diagnoses decreased by about 2% per year in men and stayed about the same in women. The cancer death rate declined by about 1.5% annually in both men and women.
“The continuing drops in the cancer death rate are a powerful sign of the potential we have to reduce cancer’s deadly toll,” said Otis W. Brawley, MD, FACP, chief medical officer of the ACS. “Continuing that success will require more clinical and basic research to improve early detection and treatment, as well as creative new strategies to increase healthy behaviors
nationwide. Finally, we need to consistently apply existing knowledge in cancer control across all segments of the population, particularly to disadvantaged groups.”