Fewer Americans dying of cancer
Thanks to healthier habits and advances in treatments and detection, fewer men, women, and children in the U.S. are dying from cancer each year. A new government progress report on the “war” against the disease found that between 1999 and 2015, overall cancer death rates fell by 1.8 percent annually among men and by 1.4 percent each year among women, the Los Angeles Times reports. Fewer Americans died from many common forms of the disease, including lung, breast, prostate, and colon cancers. Overall, the number of new cancer cases dropped 1 percent per year between 2008 and 2014. Scientists attribute these positive trends to earlier diagnoses, new and improved treatment options, smoking cessation, and healthier lifestyle habits. “This year’s report is an encouraging indicator of progress we’re making in cancer research,” says National Cancer Institute director Dr. Ned Sharpless. But despite overall declines in cancer deaths, mortality rates for certain forms of the disease, including cancers of the liver, pancreas, uterus, and brain, are actually on the rise for complex reasons, such as hepatitis C infections (which affect the liver) and obesity, which raises risk for various forms of cancer. Cancer remains the No. 2 cause of death in the U.S.