The U.S. cancer rate has been declining for 25 years, study finds

The cancer rate in the United States dropped continuously over a 25-year period, representing a 27 percent decrease, as per a study published Tuesday.

The study from the American Cancer Society found there were around 2.6 million less cancer deaths in the U.S. since reaching a peak of 215 deaths per 100,000 individuals.

The most recently accessible information, which is from 2016, found 156 deaths per 100,000 individuals. The report estimates 1.8 million new cancer cases and in excess of 600,000 deaths this year.

The American Cancer Society cites steady decreases in smoking, advances in treatment and early detection for the continuous dip.

Dr. Harold Burstein, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and doctor with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, said “tremendous improvements” have been made in therapeutic treatments for cancer.

“We have made public health investments to either prevent the cancer or early detection,” Burstein said.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal “CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.”

The study additionally found while racial gaps in cancer mortality are shrinking, gaps dependent on wealth are getting greater as residents in poorer U.S. counties bear a more burden of cancer deaths. For example, the study found lung and liver cancer mortality is 40 percent higher in men living in poor counties.

“We need to find ways to reach out to communities that have historically had not as much access to good health care,” Burstein said.

In the mean time, a few cancers that have been linked to obesity, including liver and pancreatic, hinted at an expansion. Somewhere in the range of 2012 and 2016, the death rate for liver cancer rose 1.2 percent among men and 2.6 percent among ladies, while the rate for pancreatic cancer rose 0.3 percent among men.

Last September, the World Health Organization said almost 10 million individuals would die of cancer in 2018. Alongside a maturing populace, WHO refers to economies where causes for cancer were tied more to lifestyle than poverty.

Burstein said despite the fact that there is still work to do, the medical industry has made significant progress treating the disease. “For a long time, there was a nihilism that we are not winning the war of cancer,” he said. “We are winning the war.”