Cancer mortality rate dropped by 33% since 1991, but prostate cancer is on the rise: American Cancer Society  

U.S. cancer deaths dropped by 33 percent over the past three decades, according to the American Cancer Society. Cancer mortality rates peaked in 1991.

The significant reduction in cancer deaths represents approximately 3.8 million saved lives, according to the release. The ACS credits the decline to routine screenings leading to early detection, improved treatments and a reduction in cigarette smoking.

However, the newly presented data represents a mixed bag of news relating to men's and women's cancers: 

  • Lung cancer rates fell half as fast in women compared to men; 
  • Melanoma and liver cancer diagnoses increased in women while dropping in men under 50; and 
  • Incidence of women's breast and endometrial cancers increased.

Further, advanced stage prostate cancer diagnoses have increased 3 percent since 2014, due to changes in screening guidelines with regard to prostate specific antigen testing, the report said. 

There is positive news when it comes to cervical cancer. Incidences of cervical cancer between 2012 and 2019 are down 65 percent in women ages 20 to 24. This population was the first to receive the human papillomavirus vaccine. 

The American Cancer Society links the decrease directly to the HPV vaccine and notes the vaccine has the potential to completely eliminate cervical cancer. 

"Although the risk of dying from cancer in the U.S. has continually decreased over the past 29 years, these increases in breast, prostate, and endometrial cancers may slow future progress," the American Cancer Society warned. 


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