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The 'changing picture' of cancer deaths in America: By the numbers 
Good news: Cancer-related deaths in the U.S. are on the decline thanks to advances in screening methods and early detection
The 2011 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in New York: In the past two decades, there were 34 percent fewer breast cancer-related deaths.
The 2011 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in New York: In the past two decades, there were 34 percent fewer breast cancer-related deaths.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
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ancer-related deaths in the United States are dropping — and have been for the past two decades — according to this year's annual report by the American Cancer Society. And some of the largest reductions came in cases involving the biggest killers, including breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancers. The decline came thanks mostly to early detection by increasingly sophisticated screening methods, and advances in treatment. Here's a look at the "changing picture" of the disease, by the numbers:

1 million
Cancer-related deaths prevented since the early '90s

1.8
Percentage that the cancer death rate has declined annually for men

1.6
Percentage that the cancer death rate has declined annually for women

23
Percentage that the cancer death rate fell overall for men since the early '90s

15
Percentage that the cancer death rate fell overall for women since the early '90s

2.6 and 2.5
The percentages the cancer rates have fallen annually since 1998 for black and Hispanic men, the demographic groups that experienced the largest drops

40
Percentage decrease since the early '90s, for men, in deaths related to lung cancer, the United States' number one cancer killer

34
Percentage decrease since the early '90s in breast-cancer-related deaths for women

1/3
The proportion of cancer incidents caused by tobacco use

1/3
The proprotion of cancer incidents related to "being overweight, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition"

1.6 million
New cancer cases expected in the U.S. this year

577,000
Estimated number of people who will die from the disease this year

$24.7 billion
Total cost of cancer treatments in the U.S. in 1987

$48.1 billion
Average annual cost of cancer treatments in the U.S. between 2001 and 2005

Sources: Fox News, Daily Mail, NPR, Reuters, USA Today

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