The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported. The news comes from Cancer Statistics, 2020, the latest edition of the American Cancer Society’s annual report on cancer rates and trends.
The steady 26-year decline in overall cancer mortality is driven by long-term drops in death rates for the four major cancers – lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate, although recent trends are mixed. The pace of mortality reductions for lung cancer – the leading cause of cancer death – accelerated in recent years (from 2% per year to 4% overall) spurring the record one-year drop in overall cancer mortality. In contrast, progress slowed for colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers. The article appears early online in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, and is accompanied by a consumer version, Cancer Facts & Figures 2020.
Overall cancer death rates dropped by an average of 1.5% per year during the most recent decade of data (2008-2017), continuing a trend that began in the early 1990s and resulting in the 29% drop in cancer mortality in that time. The drop translates to approximately 2.9 million fewer cancer deaths than would have occurred had mortality rates remained at their peak. Continuing declines in cancer mortality contrast with a stable trend for all other causes of death combined, reflecting a slowing decline for heart disease, stabilizing rates for cerebrovascular disease, and an increasing trend for accidents and Alzheimer disease.
Read more at American Cancer Society