Researchers attribute prevention, early detection and better cancer treatments
Due to the effects of improved prevention, early detection and treatment, cancer deaths have steadily fallen over the last three decades, according to a report recently published in Cancer Research, a journal of the AACR (Kort EJ, Paneth N, Vande Woude GF. Cancer Res. 2009 Aug 15;69(16):6500-5).
By analyzing age-specific mortality rates among cancer patients born in 1925 through 2004, lead investigators, Drs. Eric Kort, Nigel Paneth and George Vande Woude, observed a steep decline of 25.9 percent per decade in children and young adults and a 6.8 percent decline per decade in older age groups. Previous reports of cancer mortality rates had emphasized rates among older people, masking significant shifts in deaths in younger groups, the researchers explained.
The study's results are encouraging and show the benefit of improved screening and treatment. However, incidence rates of cancer continue to rise across many cancer types. The World Health Organization has predicted that death from cancer will surpass death from heart disease by 2010. While both heart disease and cancer have been declining, heart disease mortality rates have been declining much more rapidly.
Read more from the September 2009 Edition of the AACR Cancer Policy Monitor: