Cancer Death Rates Drop Fast, Study Shows
Many great strides have been made but the best cure right now is prevention.
WASHINGTON — Good news on the cancer front: Death rates are dropping faster than ever, thanks to new progress against colorectal cancer. A turning point came in 2002, scientists conclude Monday in the annual “Report to the Nation” on cancer. Between 2002 and 2004, death rates dropped by an average of 2.1 percent a year. That may not sound like much, but between 1993 and 2001, deaths rates dropped on average 1.1 percent a year.
One reason is that colorectal cancer is striking fewer people, the report found. New diagnoses are down roughly 2.5 percent a year for both men and women, thanks to screening tests that can spot precancerous polyps in time to remove them and thus prevent cancer from forming. Still, only about half the people who need screening — everyone over age 50 — gets checked. “If we’re seeing such great impact even at 50 percent screening rates, we think it could be much greater if we could get more of the population tested,” said Dr. Elizabeth Ward of the American Cancer Society, who co-wrote the report with government scientists.Source: NBC6