A new report has found that the number of U.S. citizens dying from cancer is dropping.
The report, which was published on Thursday in the journal Cancer, was a collaborative effort between the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.
The report found that the actual number of new cases of cancer hasn’t dropped, but the overall amount of deaths from cancer across men and women have declined, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Overall cancer death rates are dropping
USA Today reported that “the American Cancer Society’s Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer showed a decline in every major ethnic and racial group.”
From 2015 to 2019, cancer deaths went down for both men and women by 2.1%.
“Among men, death rates decreased by 2.3% per year; among women, death rates decreased by 1.9% per year,” according to the National Institutes of Health.
What types of cancer had the decline
Lung cancer and melanoma had the greatest decline in death rates for both men and women, and there were modest improvements in the pancreatic cancer survival rate, according to the report.
Dr. Monica M. Bertagnolli, director of the National Cancer Institute, said in a news release that the Annual Report to the Nation this year is a reflection of the many institutions’ commitment to improving the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer.
“The advances shown in the report underscore the importance of working together across society to develop effective, equitable approaches to tackle this complex disease. I look forward to working with all our partners in the cancer community to meet these challenges head-on, because people affected by cancer — and that includes all of us — are counting on it,” Bertagnolli said.
Disparities still remain among minority groups
Forbes reported that while the number across the U.S. has dropped, the report showed certain racial and ethnic disparities in the U.S. cancer death rates between 2014 to 2018 and 2015 to 2019.
The report found that uterine cancer had increased across women of all races except for white women, which were reported to have more stable rates.
“Factors such as race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status should not play a role in people’s ability to be healthy or determine how long they live,” Dr. Lisa Richardson, director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, said in the news release about the report.
In order to fight against these disparities going forward, the CDC is putting forward initiatives, programs, policy work and research into this issue, according to Richardson.
“We know that we can meet this challenge together and create an America where people are free of cancer,” Richardson said.