Milestone: US cancer death rate declines for 25 years straight

January 08, 2019 - 1:32 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – The death rate from cancer in the United States has hit a milestone: a steady decline for 25 years in a row.

In a study published Tuesday, the American Cancer Society says the nationwide cancer rate fell continuously, by about 1.5 percent per year, between 1991 and 2016.

Some 2.6 million fewer people died in those 25 years than if death rates had continued at their 1991 rate, the study says.

In 1991, there were 215.1 deaths per 100,000 people. By 2016, that had dropped to 156 per 100,000 people – an overall decline of 27 percent, according to the study.

The American Cancer Society finds lower smoking rates are translating to fewer deaths, along with advances in early detection and treatment.

But it’s not all good news: Obesity-related cancer deaths are rising and prostate cancer deaths are no longer dropping.

Cancer also remains the nation’s number two killer after heart disease, with predictions of more than 1.7 million new cancer cases – and more than 600,000 cancer deaths – in the U.S. this year.