(RxWiki News) If you're in need of some good news, this is it: The death rate from cancer in the United States is still dropping.
That's a key takeaway from the most recent annual report from the American Cancer Society (ACS). The report found that the US death rate from cancer in 2019 was down by around 32 percent from its highest-ever peak in 1991.
In 1991, the death rate from cancer was about 215 per 100,000 people. In 2019, it was 146 per 100,000.
That drop means that roughly 3.5 million fewer people have died from cancer.
While various new medications and treatment, screening and prevention methods have likely contributed to the decline in the cancer death rate, a large portion of the progress has been against lung cancer. As of 2019, over 30 percent of people who were diagnosed with lung cancer were living at least three years. That's up from just 21 percent in 2004, according to the ACS report.
While this report certainly reads like good news, the report authors acknowledged that plenty of work is left to be done in the fight against cancer. They estimated that almost 2 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2022, and that's an increase over the estimate from 2021.
The report also noted that next year's data may look a little less encouraging because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Delayed cancer screening, fewer doctor visits and even delayed surgeries could all have an impact on these numbers.
If you are concerned about your risk for cancer, reach out to your health care provider.
The ACS report was published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
All of the study authors worked for ACS, and the ACS received grants from various foundations, including some that may be involved in the private health sector.