Fewer Americans are dying from cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. The nation’s cancer death rate was increasing until the early 1990s. It has been dropping since, falling 27 percent between 1991 and 2016. That translates to about 2.6 million fewer cancer deaths if death rates stayed at their peak, according to the study.
Chief Medical and Scientific Officer for the American Cancer Society, Dr. Len Lichtenfeld says, "that's a very significant and important accomplishment." He says one of the major reasons in the decline in the use of tobacco.
There is some bad news in the report. Dr. Lichtenfeld says people in rural America does not do as well as people who live in cities. "They really don't do as well in situations where we have early detection and prevention measure in place," says Lichtenfeld. For example, the cervical cancer death rate among women in poor counties in the U.S. is twice as high as that of women in wealthier counties, the report said. And lung and liver cancer death rates are more than 40 percent higher among men living in poor counties, compared with wealthier counties. Some of the counties with the highest poverty are in rural areas of South Georgia.
The nation's issue with weight is also concerning. The reports find obesity related cancer deaths are on the rise. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017 every state had more than 20 percent of adults considered obese. In Georgia the rate was even higher.
There will be an estimated 1.8 million new U.S. cases of cancer diagnosed in 2019, with 606,880 Americans expected to die from the disease, according to Cancer Statistics.