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America’s Cancer Statistics Are Stabilizing

A new report issued by the North American Association of Cancer Registries delivers some good news about this potentially fatal disease. Researchers have found that overall the rate of people diagnosed or killed by cancer across the country is starting to stabilize and even decrease in some areas for men and women both.

The new report is also helping doctors target their educational efforts in regard to certain types of breast cancer. The report represents the first time this particular form of the disease has been broken into categories based on response to hormones. That enables researchers to see percentage rates of this disease as it affects different demographics. For example, the most aggressive type of breast cancer has about a 13 percent incident rate for all women, but adds up to about 23 percent for black women. This type of insight can enable more aggressive education targeted to higher-risk populations, researchers say.

Overall, researchers found that cancer diagnoses were down by 1.8 percent yearly between 2007 and 2011, among men. The numbers were stable for women. The rates of diagnosis for children have continued to increase at an annual rate of about 0.8 percent since 1992, researchers noted.

Decreases in new diagnoses rates have been logged over the past 20 years in certain types of cancer among men, including colon, prostate and lung. Women also saw declines in ovarian, cervical, oral and stomach cancers, among others. Even so, some types of cancers, including liver, have seen a rise.

While the latest findings show that measures to prevent and treat cancer are having an overall impact that’s positive, researchers say much work still needs to be done. This is especially so in regard to forms of cancer that are preventable when people take steps such as altering diet, exercising, kicking the smoking habit and losing weight to lower their risks.

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