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Monday, May 16, 2016

American Cancer Society report assesses progress against goals set for nation



Medical News 

  A new report  ("Commentary" - report is open access) assesses how the nation fared against the ambitious challenge goal set by the American Cancer Society to reduce the cancer death rates by 50% over 25 years ending in 2015. The report finds areas where progress was substantial, and others where it was not.
....The current analysis, led by Tim Byers, MD, of the University of Colorado, examined trends in cancer mortality across the 25-year challenge period from 1990 to 2015*. The report found:
  • In 2015, the overall cancer death rate was 26% lower than in 1990 (32% lower among men and 22% lower among women).
  • Among men, mortality rates dropped for lung cancer by 45%, for colorectal cancer by 47%, and for prostate cancer by 53%.
  • Among women, mortality rates dropped for lung cancer by 8%, for colorectal cancer by 44%, and for breast cancer by 39%.
  • Declines in the death rates of all other cancer sites were substantially smaller (13% among men and 17% among women).
  • The major factors that accounted for the drops were progress in tobacco control and improvements in early detection and treatment.
 open access:

....As we move forward, it will be important to make any new goal, including the President's “moon shot” goal, become a shared vision that is framed in realism, accompanied by a feasible path to success, publically monitored, and managed by effective leadership. Lessons over the past 25 years also should have taught us that the word “cure” should not mean only medical therapeutics. Curing the cancer problem will certainly require that we discover more effective treatments, but the success of the past 25 years has shown that prevention is also a powerful cure. As we make timely new investments in discovering new cancer treatments, we also need to develop a new national consensus about how social policy can support individual decision making to prevent cancer.

Other Cancers
......Although mortality rates have been declining substantially in the United States for the 4 sites that together account for about one-half of cancer deaths during this 25-year challenge period (lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate), less progress has been made for the other half of all cancers (a 13% decline among men and a 17% decline among women). The declining prevalence of tobacco use has favorably affected death rates for many of the tobacco-caused cancers apart from lung cancer, and further progress in tobacco control will have favorable effects on mortality from many tobacco-caused cancers in the future.[55] Unfavorable trends in obesity have dampened past gains for the many obesity-related cancer sites, including not only breast and colorectal cancers but also endometrial, kidney, liver, ovary, pancreas, and esophageal cancers, so reducing the obesity epidemic in the United States will have an important impact on future cancer mortality.[56]
It is important to note that gains have not been made for all cancers and that, for some cancer sites, mortality trends have been adverse....

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