New Studies Reveal That Survival Rates In The US Are Actually Much Better, Particularly For The Most Common Types Of Cancer

Dieticians and health experts are always harping about lifestyle practices. They say that when we eat healthy and we get lots of exercise, we are able to avoid certain forms of cancer. And while there are millions of articles that talk about this, many people still don’t take heed.

Then, there are those who do everything according perfectly well and yet fall victims to cancer. They’ve had a difficult time coping with the meds that go with their disease. They have to endure chemotherapy and radiation in order to kill those dastardly cells that wreak havoc on the body.

A scary as this piece of news may seem, there is actually a sliver of silver lining in the dark cloud. As researchers have noticed, the overall cancer death rates have actually continued to decline, for both sexes and for all racial and ethnic groups living in the United States. This was a report made in the latest Annual Report to the Nation.

The Scientist

People who performed the studies from 2001 to 2018 noticed that the death rates have had a considerable decline, especially for lung cancer and melanoma. They’ve also reported a considerable increase in survival rates for metastatic melanoma. Credit could be very well given to modern medicine, the findings they’ve made, and the technology that’s been afforded to them.

The report has appeared in JNCI: The Journal of the National Cancer Institute. In it, the writer covers the period before the COVID-19 pandemic even began. It also reflected the good news for 11 of the 19 most common cancers among adult males, and for 14 of the 20 most common cancers among adult females.

Karen E. Knudsen, M.B.A., Ph.D., CEO of American Cancer Society, celebrated the progress of the cure made and said, “The declines in lung cancer and melanoma death rates are the result of progress across the entire cancer continuum — from reduced smoking rates to prevent cancer to discoveries such as targeted drug therapies and immune checkpoint inhibitors.”

The researchers have made an extensive analysis of the long-term trends in cancer death rates in this year’s report. The figures they’ve seen showed how the death rates have improved in both males and females from 2001 to 2018. In males, there was a decline of 1.8 percent per year in 2001 to 2015, and then it improved to 2.3 percent annually from 2015 to 2018. In females, cancer rates were also on the decline of 1.4 percent per year from 2001 to 2015 and were dropping even further from 2015 to 2018 at a rate of 2.1 percent. Moreover, the report made also focused on other aspects and discovered that overall cancer death rates have basically decreased for every racial and ethnic group during the years 2014 to 2018.

Norman Sharpless, M.D. and director of the National Cancer Institute, who is also part of the National Institutes of Health, spoke about this matter and shared, “The continued decline in cancer death rates should be gratifying to the cancer research community, as evidence that scientific advances over several decades are making a real difference in outcomes at the population level.” This may finally be the piece of good news for every single person to hear because the advancements in medicine have evidently helped increase the lifespan for many people.

The authors of the study further reported that cancer death rates are continuing to decrease among children under 15 years as well as in young adults 15 to 39 years of age. This was despite an increase in incidence rates from 2001 to 2017. Of course, there were also other positive finding discovered among incidence rates for liver cancer. The latter’s rates were previously increasing, but have now stabilized for both men and women.

Sharpless further added, “I believe we could achieve even further improvements if we address obesity, which has the potential to overtake tobacco use to become the leading modifiable factor associated with cancer.”

The annual report that was made is a collaborative and joint effort among the experts from the American Cancer Society (ACS); the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health; and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR).

They can only hope that the trend continues and that further discoveries will be made, especially for those who suffer from the rarer forms of cancer.