Cancer reports states death rate still decreasing
Decreasing cancer death rate
A decrease in the number of fatalities related to cancer has been seen in the “Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer” from the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society and other groups. The pattern has been seen since the 1990s, though there are more deaths related to the human papillomavirus recently.
The rate of cancer-related fatalities fell among men and kids over the last decade, according to the ACS report. Cancer death rates among women have remained essentially steady.
Not as many smokers
The reason behind the decrease could possibly be the truth that there have been massive decreases in the number of smokers and medical advancements.
Dr. Otis Brawley of the American Cancer Society said, "The decrease in cancer mortality is driven largely by the decrease in cancer incidence, which is mostly because of the decrease in smoking. ... There has been clear progress.”
Not the only issues
Although the decline is "reason to cheer," according to Dr. John R. Seffrin, the chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society, it is also a call to keep fighting.
“The challenge we now face is how to continue those gains in the face of new obstacles, like obesity and HPV infections," said Seffrin. "We must face these hurdles head on, without distraction, and without delay, by expanding access to proven strategies to prevent and control cancer.”
More people encountering HPV
However, there was an increase in situations of cancer linked to HPV. During the last ten years, the percentage of men and women diagnosed with oropharyngeal and anal cancer rose. The incidence rate of vulva cancer also increased among both black and white women.
The report reinforces the need for children to get vaccinations for the human papillomavirus.
“This year’s report correctly and usefully emphasizes the importance of HPV infection as a cause of the growing number of cancers ... and the availability of vaccines against the major cancer-causing strains of HPV,” said Dr. Harold Varmus, director of the National Cancer Institute. “But ... vaccines against HPV will have the expected payoffs only if vaccination rates for girls and boys improve markedly.”
Less than half of all girls between 13 and 17 got the shots required for HPV in 2010. All three shots were given to less than a 3rd of all those same girls. Fewer and fewer girls are getting vaccinated.
Not considered improvement
The investment is not equating to enough change, according to the National Breast Cancer coalition president Fran Visco.
"We don't look at this as progress," she said. "This is such incremental improvement, when you look at the decades of investments, the cost of treatments, the number of researchers and journals, and then at the number of people who die ... well, we are clearly doing something wrong."
Vaccine News Daily