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Rates of new diagnoses and rates of death from all cancers combined declined significantly in the most recent time period for men and women overall and for most racial and ethnic populations in the U.S., according to a report from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
The drops are driven by declines in rates of new cases and rates of death for the three leading in men (lung, prostate, and colorectal cancers) and for two of the three leading cancers in women (breast and colorectal cancer).
The NCI findings were published online Dec. 7, 2009, in the journal Cancer.
Among racial/ethnic groups, cancer death rates were highest in black men and women and lowest in Asian/Pacific Islander men and women. Although trends in death rates by race/ ethnicity were similar for most cancer sites, death rates from pancreatic cancer, the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the U.S., increased among white men and women but decreased among black men and women.
The three leading causes of cancer death for all men, with the exception of Asian/Pacific Islanders, were lung, prostate and colorectal cancer.
For women, the three leading causes of cancer death were lung, breast and colorectal cancer for all racial/ethnic groups except Hispanic women, for whom breast cancer ranked first.
The differences and fluctuations in death rates by racial/ethnic group, sex, and cancer site may reflect differences in risk behaviors, socioeconomic status, and access to and use of screening and treatment.
View this news in Spanish here.