A new study reports that the rate of people dying from cancer in the United States seems to have dropped steadily for 25 years but disparities remain between the rich and the poor.
The overall nationwide cancer death rate fell continuously from 1991 to 2016 by a total of 27%, according to a study by the American Cancer Society, published Tuesday in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
That translates to about 2.6 million fewer cancer deaths total than would have been expected if death rates stayed at their peak, which was seen in 1991, according to the study.
“The continued decline in the cancer death rate over the past 25 years is really good news and was a little bit of a surprise, only because the other leading causes of death in the US are starting to flatten. So we’ve been wondering if that’s going to happen for cancer as well, but so far it hasn’t,” said Rebecca Siegel, first author of the study and strategic director of surveillance information at the American Cancer Society.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on the latest data, the three leading causes of death in the United States in 2017 were heart disease, cancer and accidents or unintentional injuries.
Meanwhile, on a global scale, the number of people around the world who have cancer appears to be growing, according to the World Health Organization.
A WHO report released in September estimated that there were 18.1 million new cancer cases and 9.6 million cancer deaths worldwide in 2018 alone. Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally.