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Cancer deaths hit their lowest rate since the numbers peaked in 1991.

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Cancer deaths have fallen to their lowest rate since the numbers peaked in 1991, according to new research from the American Cancer Society.

The 2012 cancer death rate in the United States was 166 deaths per 100,000 people, compared to a high of 215 deaths in 1991, and experts said there’s a number of factors that play into that. The smoking rate in the United States has dropped dramatically in recent decades, and, at the same time, medical advances mean some cancers can be caught earlier or treated more effectively.

But the statistics should also give pause, with an estimated 1.7 million new cancer cases and nearly 600,000 deaths expected in 2016 in the United States alone.

Read more: Study of twins sheds light on how genetics influences cancer risk

“It’s deceiving in the sense that there’s still a significant proportion and a significant number of people affected,” said Silvana Luciani, the cancer advisor for the World Health Organization’s Pan American Health Organization, who was not affiliated with the study.

Another cause for concern: The decrease wasn’t seen across all cancer types.

“When you clump all cancer types together, you get that vision of a decline in rates over time,” Luciani said, “but when you piece out the individual cancer types over time, it’s [a] different story.”

The report found that colorectal cancer rates are slowly on the rise in people under age 50, who aren’t typically screened for the condition. The incidence of some types of leukemia and of cancers of the tongue, liver, and pancreas have also increased in the past decade.

Read more: Biden pushed Congress for big boost in cancer research funding

Top Reddit comment:

Sad to read there has been a small increase of cancer rates in children (0-14) ... 0.6% per year between 2000-2009.

360 Reddit comments:

Top Reddit comments:

The thing with cancer, and most people dont know, is that it represents a common end stadium of a broad spectrum of cascaded genetic and epigenetic alterations. Basically, cancer represents a group of different diseases with similar symptoms, but diverse causes. There is no general cure for cancer conceivable. Every single instance of cancer is different and must be treated on a personal level. A general cure will never exist. One can only develop a treatment plan that has to be tailored to individual needs.


No one is talking about a single cure-all. However some of the new technology we've recently developed, Is likely to be applicable for a range of cancers. I think that with proper funding, in ten years, cancer treatment is going to be far different then it looks now.

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