US cancer death rate down 27% in last 25 years

The overall cancer death rate in the United States has dropped 27 percent in the last 25 years, according to a new report from the American Cancer Society (ACS). This means approximately 2.6 million fewer people have died from cancer during that time than would have been expected otherwise.

The ACS explores various cancer rates and trends each year in its Cancer Statistics report. This year’s full report was published online in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

According to the ACS, more than 1.7 million new cancer cases and more than 606,000 cancer deaths are expected to take place in the United States in 2019. Since 1991, the cancer death rate has dropped by more than 1 percent each year.

In addition, the death rate for women from breast cancer dropped 40 percent from 1989 to 2016. For men, the death rate from lung cancer dropped by 48 percent from 1990 to 2016. For women, it dropped by 23 percent from 2002 to 2016.

“The decline in cancer mortality over the past two decades is primarily the result of steady reductions in smoking and advances in early detection and treatment, which are reflected in the declines for the four major cancers: lung, breast, prostate, and colorectal,” according to a news release from the ACS.