U.S. Cancer Mortality Rates Decline, Incidence Rates Stabilize, Report Finds
Mortality rates from the four most common types of cancer -- breast, colorectal, lung and prostate -- appear to have declined, and incidence rates for all cancers appear to have stabilized, according to an analysis of U.S. cancer cases from 1975 to 2000, USA Today reports (Friend, USA Today, 9/3). The report, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, was prepared by the CDC, the NCI, the American Cancer Society and the National American Association of Central Cancer Registries. It analyzed data from 34 statewide cancer registries that represent about 68% of the national population, Reuters/Washington Times reports. Researchers found that through 1990, death rates for all cancers combined increased by 0.5% per year; stabilized from 1990 to 1994; declined by 1.4% per year from 1994 through 1998; and stabilized from 1998 through 2000 (Reuters/Washington Times, 9/3). The report also found:
- Overall cancer incidence rates increased from the mid-1970s through 1992, decreased from 1992 to 1995 and stabilized from 1995 to 2000.
- Breast cancer death rates have declined, while incidence rates gradually increased in part because of increased use of mammography.
- Colorectal cancer death rates have declined in whites and blacks, while incidence rates stabilized for men and women beginning in 1996.
- Death rates from lung cancer -- the most common type of cancer death -- have declined in men and the rate of increase has slowed in women.
- Prostate cancer death rates have decreased since 1994, although incidence rates have increased (NCI release, 9/2).
The report also found a "growing difference in death rates between white and black populations," which may indicate that black people "may not be reaping the benefits of screening and treatment," the Houston Chronicle reports (Hopper, Houston Chronicle, 9/2). Researchers also found a gender disparity in the mortality rates for lung cancer. Although fewer women than men develop the cancer, a higher percentage of women die from it, Long Island Newsday reports (Ricks, Long Island Newsday, 9/2). The report also highlights geographic disparities in lung cancer, as 16 states spend less than $1 per resident on tobacco control, less than the recommended $10 to $15 per resident, the St. Petersburg Times reports (St. Petersburg Times, 9/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.