What Growing Cancer Epidemic?—Update


New cancer trend statistics being released today are heartening. Eurekalert headline announcing the new cancer stats reads: "Cancer Deaths Continue to Drop." Which is happily quite true, but actually misses the even more amazing fact that "Cancer Incidence Rates Continue to Drop."

  • Cancer incidence rates decreased in men 1.3 percent per year from 2000 to 2006 and in women 0.5 percent per year from 1998 to 2006.
  • Death rates for all cancer sites combined decreased 2 percent per year from 2001 to 2006 in males and 1.5 percent per year from 2002 to 2006 in females.

Since Reason had already sensibly published some of my reporting on this topic, I once pitched an article on the surprising truth that cancer incidence rates have been declining to the science editor of a popular technology magazine. He irritably blurted out, "That can't be true." To this day, I wish I had snapped back: "That's why it's surprising, you dolt."

For more background on this happy trend you might consider reading my 2001 column, "What Cancer Epidemic?" Go here for the full report.