Cancer deaths in the U.S. have fallen for the first time in 20 years… why?

Lung cancer is the number one cause of death not only in Korea but also worldwide. With advances in early diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer in the United States, the overall cancer incidence has also been on a decline for the past 20 years, CNN and American health medicine webzine Health Day reported on the 12th (local time).

According to the annual cancer statistics report released by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the total number of cancer deaths in the United States has declined by a third (32%) from about 215 per 100,000 people in 1991 to about 146 per 100,000 in 2019. do. Most of the decrease was analyzed to be due to a decrease in lung cancer mortality.

In 2019, about 1 in 4 cancer deaths, lung cancer still ranks first in cancer deaths. ACS predicts that in 2022, 350 people a day will die from lung cancer in the United States, or close to 128,000 people a year. However, lung cancer mortality is declining faster than the overall trend. The mortality rate from lung cancer decreased by about 5% per year from 2015 to 2019. During the same period, the overall cancer mortality rate decreased by 2% per year. The reduction in lung cancer deaths is the main driving force behind the reduction in overall cancer deaths.

The ACS analyzed that the results of the smoking cessation campaign were effective. Smoking is associated with 80% of lung cancer deaths. Karen Knudson, president of the American Cancer Society, said, “This study confirms that quitting smoking has an important effect on health. It is a source that makes it possible,” he told CNN.

Lung cancer screening slightly increased from 2% of subjects in 2010 to 5% in 2018, which made a big difference. Diagnosis of early-stage lung cancer increased by 11 percentage points from 17% in 2004 to about 28% in 2018. In addition, the 3-year survival rate of lung cancer patients increased from 21% to 30%.

Despite this positive news, ACS predicts that by 2022 there will be approximately 1.9 million new cancer diagnoses and more than 609,000 cancer deaths in the United States. The probability of being diagnosed with cancer was 40.2% for men and 38.5% for women. Although the incidence of lung cancer is the highest for both men and women, men have a higher risk of prostate cancer and women have a higher risk of breast cancer. Both prostate and breast cancers are being diagnosed at an early stage.

The saddest thing about ACS is that cervical cancer, which is almost completely preventable, kills more than 10 American women every day, and half of them are under the age of 50. Rebecca Siegel, Chief Scientific Officer at ACS, said, “It is painful to see thousands of deaths every year from fully preventable cervical cancer, despite the rapid decline in overall cancer mortality along with advances in lung cancer diagnosis and treatment.” emphasized the need for vaccination.

By Han Gun-pil, reporter [email protected]

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