Tuesday, May 30, 2023
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Cancer Deaths Are Higher in Black Americans HP NEWS

While cancer death rates continue to decline in the United States, research suggests that many long-standing racial disparities in survival odds aren’t going away.

First, the good news. Cancer mortality rates have dropped 33 percent since 1991, according to a new study from the American Cancer Society, published in January 2023 in CA: Cancer Journal for Clinicians. This year, an estimated 1.96 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States, and about 610,000 people will die. That’s about 3.8 million fewer deaths than the country would have seen without the sharp decline in fatalities over the years.

“The downturn has occurred for 29 years now, but was especially exciting in 2020 because most other leading causes of death increased in 2020 because of the pandemic,” says Rebecca Siegel, MPH, the lead study author and the senior scientific director of cancer surveillance research at the American Cancer Society.

Advances in Treatment Are Lowering Cancer Deaths — but Not Equally Across Racial Groups

Treatment advances for many types of cancer helped boost survival odds. From 2016 to 2020, for example, improved treatments contributed to a 2 percent annual decline in deaths from leukemia, melanoma, and kidney cancer, the study found. Lung cancer death rates are also falling at twice the pace of new cases, aided by new targeted therapies for non-small-cell lung cancer, the subtype that accounts for 80 percent of cases, Siegel says.



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