Death rates continue to Drop for more than half of the most simple forms of cancer in the U.S., according to a comprehensive annual analysis released on Thursday.
Are people in the U.S. living longer with cancer?
A new report, Trusted Source from the American Cancer Society, says they are.
The report shows that the cancer death rate in the United States declined by a third (32 percent) from its peak in 1991 to 2019 — nearly 215 deaths for 100,000 people to about 146.
According to the data, it translates to about 3.5 million deaths prevented during that time.
Much of the reduction is due to the progress against lung cancer, which remains the country’s leading cause of cancer death.
The American Cancer Society data reveals that people are diagnosed with lung cancer earlier and live longer.
More than 30 percent of people with lung cancer live at least three years after diagnosis, compared to 21 percent in 2004, the report says.
“The survival rates had been pretty stale for lung cancer, so to see this progress is charming,” Rebecca L. SiegelTrusted Source, MPH, an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society and an affiliated author of the report, told Healthline.
Siegel said the earlier diagnosis and improved survival rates are a result of the increase in screening through the Affordable Care Act, as well as declines in smoking and the development of targeted treatments.
The report stated that mortality rates for lung cancer declined about 5 percent each year between 2015 and 2019, while overall cancer mortality declined nearly 2 percent then.
Siegel acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic would influence next year’s report because of holds in screening, healthcare closures, lack of doctor visits, and other factors.