A recent report by the American Cancer Society found that advances in medical technology and improvements in cancer awareness and prevention programs have contributed to a 22 percent drop in cancer deaths in the last two decades. That's 1.5 million lives saved in twenty years!
The report indicates that mortality rates for colon cancer, one of the most common causes of cancer death, have decreased by nearly half (47%) over the last two decades due to improvements in early detection and treatment practices.
“The continuing drops we’re seeing in cancer mortality are reason to celebrate, but not to stop,” said John R. Seffrin, PhD, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society in an ACS press release. “Cancer was responsible for nearly one in four deaths in the United States in 2011, making it the second leading cause of death overall."
"It is already the leading cause of death among adults aged 40 to 79, and is expected to overtake heart disease as the leading cause of death among all Americans within the next several years. The change may be inevitable, but we can still lessen cancer’s deadly impact by making sure as many Americans as possible have access to the best tools to prevent, detect, and treat cancer.”
To echo Dr. Seffrin's sentiment, this report represents a huge milestone for the cancer advocacy community. However, it is not the finish line.
The report authors predict 1,658,370 new cancer cases and 589,430 deaths from cancer in the US in 2015. Let's work together to ensure these people have the education and support they need to overcome their battle with cancer.
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