New Cases of Cancer No Longer Increasing in the U.S.

Newly released cancer research indicates a slight increase in the number of cancer patients surviving this once fatal disease. Most striking was the news that increased screening for cancers, and public education, has prevented the rate of new cancer cases from rising.

Statistics on the impact of cancers throughout various populations of the United States were released in October. The report broke down how cancer affects Americans by age, gender, race, and economic class.

The report, entitled “Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2002,” which was published by the major cancer research organizations in the United States, indicated a 1.1 percent decrease in the number of cancer deaths in the United States from 1993-2002. At the same time, the number of reported cases of cancer stayed the same, as opposed to increasing as in past years.

Not surprisingly, the report noted that the most common cancers of the past continue to remain the most-often fatal. For all groups studied, the most deadly cancers for men continue to be prostate, lung and colorectal cancer. For women the most deadly cancers remain breast, lung and colorectal cancer.

While lung cancer remains the most deadly cancer for men and women, the number of men contracting lung cancer and dying from lung cancer have both gone down. While lung cancer death among women rose slightly between 1995 and 2002, the rate of new cases in women has remained the same between 1998 and 2002. Experts attributed a decline in increasing lung cancer rates among women to decreased cigarette smoking.

The report noted that the incidence of new cancer cases among men remained the same between 1993-2002. At the same time, the number of new cancer cases among women rose by 0.3 percent. This was attributed to increases in seven types of cancer including breast, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, melanoma, thyroid, leukemia, bladder, and kidney.

In reviewing how cancer breaks down among racial groups, scientists found black men continue to have the highest rates of new cancers and deaths from cancers among any group. Indeed, black men contract new cancers at a rate 25 percent higher than white men. Their death rate is 43 percent higher.

Black women have lower cases of new cancers than white women, but their death rates are higher.

The number of cases of new cancer and the rate of death from cancer was generally lower among Asian/Pacific Islanders, American Indian/Alaska Natives, and Hispanics/Latinos.

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